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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid