Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Royal decree on low-cut tops

Read more

DEBATE

Ukraine, The Escalation: No Stopping Putin? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Ukraine, The Escalation: No Stopping Putin?

Read more

FOCUS

Bangladesh: Textile workers' lives still at risk?

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

José Bové, Candidate for the EU Commission presidency, Group of the Greens

Read more

WEB NEWS

NYPD's online campaign backfires

Read more

ENCORE!

Celebrating the Bard's birthday in Britain

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yuki Tatsumi, Senior Associate of the East Asia Program, Stimson Center

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

USA: Executions halted over drugs secrecy

Read more

  • US warns Russia against making ‘expensive mistake’ in Ukraine

    Read more

  • Israel halts Middle East peace talks over Hamas deal

    Read more

  • French policemen accused of raping Canadian woman

    Read more

  • Internet should stay free of government intervention, conference says

    Read more

  • A radio station defends peace and tolerance in CAR

    Read more

  • Echoes of 2pac and Biggie? French rap feud turns violent

    Read more

  • Ferry disaster, nuclear test fears cloud Obama’s South Korea trip

    Read more

  • Fresh clashes in Rio over dancer's death

    Read more

  • US would defend Japan in islands dispute, Obama says

    Read more

  • Platini: PSG in danger over Financial Fair Play rules

    Read more

  • Afghan guard kills US doctors in Kabul hospital attack

    Read more

  • Ségolène Royal denies banning cleavage at French ministry

    Read more

  • Video: Mayor in east Ukraine ready ‘to turn Slaviansk into battlefield’

    Read more

  • New far-right mayor moves to quash Paris region mosque

    Read more

  • Millions of Syrians desperately need aid, says UN

    Read more

  • Muslims in CAR pray for an escape route

    Read more

  • Madrid beat Bayern 1-0 in first leg of Champions League semis

    Read more

  • Britain's ex-PM Blair warns against spread of radical Islam

    Read more

  • Turkish PM offers condolences to descendants of Armenians killed in 1915

    Read more

  • Gay marriage, one year on: ‘French civilisation did not crumble’

    Read more

Asia-pacific

China sends fighter jets into disputed airspace

©

Video by Halla MOHIEDDEEN

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-11-29

Tensions have risen further after the Chinese air force sent fighter jets into a controversial new air defence zone on Thursday, following US, Japanese and Korean military flights in the same disputed area over the East China Sea.

China sent several fighter jets and an early warning aircraft into its new air defence zone over the East China Sea on Thursday, raising the stakes in a standoff with the United States, Japan and South Korea.

Japan and South Korea also flew military aircraft through the zone on Thursday while Washington sent two unarmed B-52 bombers into the airspace earlier this week in a sign of support for its ally Japan. None of those aircraft informed Beijing.

Conflicting airspaces in China Sea

“China announced on Saturday this new air identification zone, suddenly expanding its airspace and demanding that aircraft flying through notify Chinese authorities of their route in advance,” said FRANCE 24’s Tokyo correspondent Gavin Blair.

He added that the zone covered the disputed Diaoyu/Sengagku Islands, which made its designation a provocative move.

The Chinese patrol mission was “a defensive measure and in line with international common practices”, the official news agency Xinhua cited air force spokesman Shen Jinke as saying.

“China’s air force is on high alert and will take measures to deal with diverse air threats to firmly protect the security of the country’s airspace,” Shen added.

Ties between China and Japan have been strained for months by the dispute over the islands in the East China Sea, called the Diaoyu by China and the Senkaku by Japan. Washington does not take a position on the sovereignty of the islands but recognises Tokyo’s administrative control and says the US-Japan security pact applies to them.

Sabre rattling

China’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that since the zone came into force there had been no impact on the safe operation of international civilian flights, although it added that China “hoped” airlines would cooperate.

Japan’s two biggest airlines have defied the identification order since Wednesday at the request of the Japanese government.

FRANCE 24’s Blair said the latest Chinese air patrols represented “an escalation in the region and the biggest danger with all this sabre-rattling going on would be an accidental collision in the area between aircraft”.

Although there are risks of a confrontation in the zone, US and Chinese military officials have stepped up communication with each other in recent years and are in regular contact to avoid accidental clashes.

US Vice President Joe Biden is visiting China, Japan and South Korea next week, and will try to diffuse tensions over the issue, senior U.S. administration officials said.

The Global Times, an influential tabloid published by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily newspaper, praised the government for its calm response in the face of “provocations”, saying China would not target the United States in the zone as long as it “does not go too far”.

But it warned Japan it could expect a robust response if it continued to fly military aircraft in the zone.

 

(FRANCE 24 with Reuters)

Date created : 2013-11-29

  • CHINA

    China extends air defence zone over disputed islands

    Read more

  • East China Sea: Beijing Blinks First

    Read more

  • USA - CHINA

    US defies China to fly over disputed Senkaku islands

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)