World News

    China Hit with Complaints Over Maritime Air Defense Zone

    China faced a barrage of complaints from the United States, Japan and South Korea on Monday, following its creation of an air defense zone over disputed waters in the East China Sea.

    Beijing reacted angrily, filing its own formal protests over the criticism.

    China declared the air defense identification zone (ADIZ) over the East China Sea on Saturday, saying all civilian and military aircraft flying within it must identify themselves and obey all commands from Beijing.

    White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Monday that China's move was "unnecessarily inflammatory." Earnest told reporters that disputes in the region should be resolved diplomatically.

    Pentagon spokesman Steve Warren said U.S. military aircraft operating in the disputed aerial zone will not register a flight plan or identify their transponder, radio frequency or logo to Chinese authorities.

    The new Chinese zone overlaps with a Japanese aerial zone above a group of uninhabited East China Sea islands claimed by both countries. Japan, a U.S. ally, administers the islands and calls them Senkaku, while China refers to them as Diaoyu.



    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe denounced the creation of the Chinese zone as "dangerous." In remarks to a parliamentary session on Monday, he said China's action is unenforceable, has no validity in Japan and should be revoked. Mr. Abe's government also summoned the Chinese ambassador in Tokyo, Cheng Yonghua, for a formal protest.

    China's zone also overlaps with a South Korean aerial zone above a submerged rock where Seoul established a research facility in 2003 despite Chinese objections.

    The rock is known internationally as Socotra, but is called Ieodo by South Korea and Suyan by China.

    South Korea summoned a Chinese diplomat on Monday to protest the new zone. South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said Seoul also will permit aircraft to pass through the disputed area without notifying China.

    The United States recognizes Japan's control of the East China Sea islands but says it takes no position on their "ultimate" sovereignty. In a statement on Saturday, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel criticized the Chinese zone as "a destabilizing attempt to alter the status quo" in the maritime region.

    China responded to the criticism by insisting it is acting within its rights to defend Chinese national sovereignty and airspace.

    Beijing officials also lodged diplomatic protests with U.S. ambassador Gary Locke on Sunday and Japanese ambassador Kitera Masato on Monday. The officials called on Washington and Tokyo to "correct their mistakes" and stop making "irresponsible remarks," as China sees them.

    There was no word of any immediate Chinese protest to South Korea, with whom Beijing has seen relations improve in recent months.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora