News / Asia

Criticism Escalates Over China's New Airspace Defense Rules

FILE - Photograph taken on a marine surveillance plane B-3837 shows the disputed islets, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.
FILE - Photograph taken on a marine surveillance plane B-3837 shows the disputed islets, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.
William Ide
— China’s neighbors Japan and South Korea have voiced concern about Beijing’s decision Saturday to suddenly announce the establishment of an air defense identification zone over disputed waters in the East China Sea.
 
China’s decision has escalated an already ongoing war of words over the disputed islands in the East China Sea, where Beijing and Tokyo’s territorial claims overlap.
 
On Monday, Japan rejected the establishment of the zone and sharply criticized Beijing.
 
According to Japanese government spokesman Katsunobu Kato, by creating the zone and forcing others to abide by it, China has changed the situation in the East China Sea. He said it could cause a dangerous and unpredictable situation.
 
South Korea also voiced concern noting that China unilaterally made the decision to establish the zone, which overlaps with its own air defense identification zone.
 
South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said that as of now, South Korea will allow airplanes to pass through the zone without notifying China.

South Korea said it will raise the issue when the two countries hold previously scheduled talks later this week.
 
China announced the decision Saturday, noting that the policy would take effect immediately and that it would take action against aircraft that do not identify themselves.  
 
Although U.S. officials were busily engaged in nuclear talks with Iran when the announcement came, the White House, State Department and Pentagon all released statements voicing their strong concern about the decision and the impact it could have on regional stability.
 
Japan has summoned the Chinese ambassador in Tokyo over the announcement to protest the decision. China’s Foreign Ministry said it has done the same with the Japanese ambassador in Beijing, making representations over what it called Tokyo’s unreasonable manipulation of the announcement.
 
China said if Japan would stop blaming Beijing, it is willing to sit down and talk about the issue.
 
Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said there is no reason for Japan to make such irresponsible remarks about China’s decision. He said the Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Defense and the Chinese embassy in Tokyo have all rejected Japan’s protests with regard to the air defense zone.
 
Beijing argued that just like other nations, it has the right to establish its own air defense identification zone. Chinese state media have noted that more than 20 countries have air defense zones, including Japan, which expanded its zone most recently in 2010.

Both China and Japan’s air defense zones include the disputed Senkaku or Diaoyu islands as they are known in China. Japan annexed the islets in the late 19th century. China claimed sovereignty over the archipelago in 1971, saying ancient maps show it has been Chinese territory for centuries.
 
Wendell Minnick, Asia editor for Defense News said Beijing’s move is a response to Japan’s actions three years ago to expand its zone.
 
Coming on a weekend before the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, Minnick said the move by Beijing was clearly calculated to catch Washington off guard. “China’s announcement appears to be an attempt to salami slice as they call it. China has a tendency to take territory or enforce new rules at a time when the U.S. is very friendly to them. The U.S. has been working very hard to improve military to military relations with China,” he stated.
 
Minnick said the overlap of the two air defense zones raises some challenges for both Tokyo and Washington. However, he said it remains to be seen just how much China engages with Japanese and American jets in the area.

You May Like

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid