China establishes ‘air-defence zone’ over disputed islands

November 23, 2013 | By | Reply More

Nov 22, – Beijing has announced it is setting up an “air defence identification zone” over an area that includes islands controlled by Japan but claimed by China, in a move that could inflame the bitter territorial row.

hromedia China establishes 'air-defence zone' over disputed islands intl. news2The defence ministry has released a set of identification rules that it says all aircraft must adhere to when entering the zone, or risk intervention by the military.

Aircraft are expected to provide their flight plan, clearly mark their nationality, and maintain two-way radio communication allowing them to “respond in a timely and accurate manner to the identification inquiries” from Chinese authorities.

State-run media CCTV has published the new rules in full.

The new zone covers a wide area of the East China Sea between South Korea and Taiwan that includes the Tokyo-controlled islands known as the Senkaku to Japan and Diaoyou to China.

“China’s armed forces will adopt defensive emergency measures to respond to aircraft that do not cooperate in the identification or refuse to follow the instructions,” according to the ministry.

Japan’s Foreign Ministry says it had lodged a strong protest against the new zone.

Beijing boosts military presence despite Japanese threats

Beijing’s “air defence identification zone” comes a day after reports emerged that China had successfully tested its first stealth combat drone.

The test flight of the “Sharp Sword” unmanned aircraft is another step in China’s years-long military build-up, with its defence spending now the second highest in the world and growing by double-digit percentages each year.

Japan has threatened to shoot down foreign drones that enter its claimed territory, but China’s defence ministry has warned that any bid to shoot down its drones would constitute “an act of war”.

Four Chinese coastguard boats briefly entered the disputed waters on Friday, following multiple incursions at the end of October and start of November.

Sino-Japanese relations have remained at a low-ebb for more than a year as a result of the dispute, which was revived when Japan nationalised three of the archipelago’s five islands in September 2012.

Since that time, China has sent regular coast guard patrols to the islands, which are 200 kilometres northeast of Taiwan and 400 kilometres west of Japan’s Okinawa.

Press journalist for HRO media – Debi Campillos contributed to this report.

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Category: International

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