Black People : China Claims Air Rights Over Disputed Islands

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HONG KONG — The Chinese government on Saturday claimed the right to identify, monitor and possibly take military action against aircraft that enter a newly declared “air defense identification zone,” which covers sea and islands also claimed by Japan and threatens to escalate an already tense dispute over some of the maritime territory.

The move appeared to be another step in China’s efforts to intensify pressure on Japan over the Japanese-controlled islands in the East China Sea that are at the heart of the dispute.

The declaration, from a Ministry of National Defense spokesman, Col. Yang Yujun, accompanied the ministry’s release of a map, geographic coordinates and rules in Chinese and English that said “China’s armed forces will take defensive emergency measures to respond to aircraft that do not cooperate in identification or refuse to follow orders.”
“The objective is to defend national sovereignty and territorial and air security, as well as to maintain orderly aviation,” Colonel Yang said in comments issued on the ministry’s website.

Later Saturday, China’s air force said it had sent its first planes, including fighter jets, to enforce the rules. Soon afterward, Japan scrambled its own fighter jets, Reuters reported, citing Japan’s Defense Ministry. A ministry spokesman said two Chinese reconnaissance planes had flown within about 25 miles of what Japan considers its airspace, Reuters said.

The Chinese announcement followed months of increasing tension over the uninhabited islands as China appeared to be taking moves to establish its claim to them, including more frequent ship patrols in the area. Those patrols have led to cat-and-mouse games between Chinese and Japanese ships near the islands, known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.

But trying to control the airspace over the islands could prove particularly problematic. Japan considers that airspace its own and has scrambled fighter jets in the past to try to ensure that Chinese aircraft did not enter. As the potential for a miscalculation that leads to conflict has increased, the United States has become worried that as an ally of Japan, it could be dragged into any conflict with China.

Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States was “deeply concerned” about China’s announcement. “Escalatory action will only increase tensions in the region and create risks of an incident,” Mr. Kerry said in a statement. He urged China “to exercise caution and restraint.”

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/24/w...ft-over-disputed-seas.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0
 

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