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.
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 In US, Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy

Holiday marks date Columbus discovered Americas, but some are offended by legacy because he enslaved many natives he encountered More

Video Through Sports, Austria Tries to Give Migrants Traction

With 85,000 people expected to claim asylum in Austria this year, its government has made integration through joint physical activities a key objective More

Video Kickboxing Champion Shares Sport With Young Migrants

Pouring into Europe by hundreds of thousands, some migrants, especially youngsters, are finding sports a way to integrate into new host countries More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemeni
Henry Ridgwell
October 12, 2015 4:03 PM
The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemen

The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video No Resolution in Sight to US House Speaker Drama

Uncertainty grips the U.S. Congress, where no consensus replacement has emerged to succeed Republican House Speaker John Boehner after his surprise resignation announcement. Half of Congress is effectively leaderless weeks before America risks defaulting on its national debt and enduring another partial government shutdown.

Video New Art Exhibit Focuses on Hope

Out of struggle and despair often comes hope. That idea is behind a new art exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. "The Big Hope Show" features 25 artists, some of whom overcame trauma and loss. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy as US Holiday

The second Monday of October is Columbus Day in the United States, honoring explorer Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the Americas. The achievement is a source of pride for many, but for some the holiday is marked by controversy. Adrianna Zhang has more.

Video Anger Simmers as Turks Begin to Bury Blast Victims

The Turkish army carried out new air strikes on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets on Sunday, a day after the banned group announced a unilateral cease fire. The air raids apparently are in retaliation for the Saturday bombing in Turkey's capital Ankara that killed at least 95 people and wounded more than 200 others. But as Zlatica Hoke reports, there are suspicions that Islamic State is involved.

Video Bombings a Sign of Turkey’s Deep Troubles

Turkey has begun a three-day period of mourning following Saturday’s bomb attacks in the capital, Ankara, that killed nearly 100 people. With contentious parliamentary elections three weeks away, the attacks highlight the challenges Turkey is facing as it struggles with ethnic friction, an ongoing migrant crisis, and growing tensions with Russia. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Afghanistan’s Progress Aided by US Academic Center

Recent combat in Afghanistan has shifted world attention back to the central Asian nation’s continuing civil war and economic challenges. But, while there are many vexing problems facing Afghanistan’s government and people, a group of academics in Omaha, Nebraska has kept a strong faith in the nation’s future through programs to improve education. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Omaha, Nebraska.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video In 'He Named Me Malala,' Guggenheim Finds Normal in Extraordinary

Davis Guggenheim’s documentary "He Named Me Malala" offers a probing look into the life of 18-year-old Malala Yousafsai, the Pakistani teenager who, in 2012, was shot in the head by the Taliban for standing up for her right to education in her hometown in Pakistan's Swat Valley. Guggenheim shows how, since then, Malala has become a symbol not as a victim of brutal violence, but as an advocate for girls’ education throughout the world. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.

Video Paintable Solar Cells May Someday Replace Silicon-Based Panels

Solar panels today are still factory-manufactured, with the use of some highly toxic substances such as cadmium chloride. But a researcher at St. Mary’s College, Maryland, says we are close to being able to create solar panels by painting them on a suitable surface, using nontoxic solutions. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs