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

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs