China Establishes ‘Air-Defence Zone’ Over East China Sea
Beijing – China has demarcated an “air-defence identification zone” over an area of the East China Sea, covering islands that are also claimed by Japan. China’s defence ministry said aircraft entering the zone must obey its rules or face “emergency defensive measures”. The islands, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, are a source of rising tension between the countries.
Japan lodged a strong protest over what it said was an “escalation”. “Setting up such airspace unilaterally escalates the situations surrounding Senkaku islands and has danger of leading to an unexpected situation,” Japan’s foreign ministry said in a statement. Taiwan, which also claims the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands, expressed regret at the move and promised that the military would take measure to protect national security.
In its statement, the Chinese defence ministry said aircraft must report a flight plan, “maintain two-way radio communications”, and “respond in a timely and accurate manner” to identification inquiries. (BBC)