News / Asia

    Beijing Draws Online Ridicule Over Air Defense

    Chinese military Y-8 airborne early warning plane flies through airspace between Okinawa's main island and smaller Miyako island, southern Japan, Oct. 27, 2013.
    Chinese military Y-8 airborne early warning plane flies through airspace between Okinawa's main island and smaller Miyako island, southern Japan, Oct. 27, 2013.
    VOA News
    The Chinese government has drawn ridicule from domestic Internet users for its low-key reaction to U.S. and Japanese aircraft ignoring Beijing's creation of an air defense zone in the East China Sea.
     
    Many Chinese microbloggers posted messages Wednesday mocking the ruling Communist Party or lamenting that it has become, in their view, an international "laughing stock."
     
    China declared an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over disputed waters in the East China Sea on Saturday. It said all foreign civilian and military aircraft flying in the zone must identify themselves and follow Beijing's instructions or face unspecified "emergency measures."
     
    The Chinese zone includes air space above a resource-rich chain of uninhabited islands claimed by China and controlled by Japan, a regional rival.
     
    Chinese nationalist commentators initially expressed a largely positive view of the move as a sign of China's greater assertiveness in dealing with Japan and its key ally the United States.
     
    But the United States said it flew two unarmed B-52 bombers through the zone on Monday without notifying China. Japanese airlines operating in the area stopped submitting flight plans to Beijing on Wednesday, at the request of the Japanese government.
     
    China's defense ministry said Wednesday it monitored the U.S. military planes while they transited the zone. It also insisted that China has the capability to exercise "effective control" of the air space.
     
    When asked whether China will take tougher measures if there are further such incidents, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said Beijing will "respond accordingly depending on the different circumstances and the threat levels that we may face."
     
    The Chinese government's muted statements on the issue prompted many Internet users to describe the Chinese aerial zone as a farce. Those sympathetic to the government said stronger action is needed in future.
     
    In a Weibo message monitored by Reuters, outspoken retired Chinese Major General Luo Yuan called for the zone to be "enforced to the full" and said "no country must think that they can ... leave things to chance."
     
    Chinese officials have said Beijing established the ADIZ in order to exercise its "right" to defend national sovereignty. They also have said China is acting like other nations that have created aerial notification zones in international airspace.
     
    The United States and Japan have their own aerial zones, but only require foreign aircraft to identify themselves if those planes intend to pass through U.S. and Japanese national airspace.
     
    Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: icansee4miles from: New York
    November 29, 2013 6:05 AM
    The Dragon's mask has slipped; not so friendly now, is it? President Obama's strategy with Iran and the Middle East now becomes clear; assets are being deployed to stop the world's top hegemonist-China; as foretold in Amazon Kindle's new thriller, The Bahrain Protocol; a snippet is below. Looking past the Conference Leader out the window at the flag, symbol of liberty, the Aide said in a low voice, “America has no friends in the Middle East.” “We have been used to clean up other nation’s messes for a very long time, and the President has seen the price America paid for invading Afghanistan and Iraq.” He turned to look at the Conference Leader with a light behind his eyes, “The President wants to conserve America’s resources for the fight that is coming; the real fight, which will be with China.”

    by: JKF from: Great North (Canada)
    November 28, 2013 4:46 PM
    I think that the PRC declarations need to be taken very seriously, and addressed at the UN, because it is their foot in the door. In a year or so, if their air control declaration is not addressed, they will set up a maritime control zone, followed by an actual landing on the islands in dispute. Just look at how they proceeded in some other similar situations, like off the Philipines/Viet Nam, a very similar modus operandi, no one took them seriously either untill they entrenched their navy and started building fortifications on shoals/reefs in disputed zones claimed by the PRC.

    by: Nguyễn from: US
    November 28, 2013 12:49 PM
    Not just American military aircrafts flew into new Chinese ADIZ but also Japanese and South Korean airforces have conducted joyful air-shows in the same zone. They didn't bother with what Chinese had said about ADIZ.
    In Response

    by: Ulchi from: US
    November 28, 2013 7:04 PM
    Risk of confrontation is there, either with intension or a missed calculation or just a stuppid mistake by any one.

    by: Weiwei from: beijing
    November 28, 2013 12:34 AM
    You need not comment on the inland response from chinese internet users biasly. It is not the whole thing. As a microblogger, I don't think the chinese government's response to your two unarmed B-52 bombers insufficient or in adequate.

    by: Kamikaze from: Japan
    November 27, 2013 10:20 PM
    Chinese (PRC) government does not need to set any ADIZ because according to its claim, the whole world may belong to China from acient times. No one in the rest of the world respects PRC.

    by: SINO-US BAR from: ZHEJIANG CHINA
    November 27, 2013 9:30 PM
    Chinese government is professional at cracking down the domenstic unarmed citizens, but seems very weak and coward to face the foreign challenges, even from the much smaller and weaker countries such as Vietnam, Phillipines, Korea, not to say USA, and Japan. So do not worry about any so called visibly strong claims, because China is only likely to show muscles to local popular residents but not to abroad. During the earlier stage of new-funding China, Chairman called those powerful western stations as paper tiger to upgrate the inside confidence to confront with them, and Now the real "paper tiger" is the current China. so do not worry, US, and Japan, this tiger will not bite you by any means even you poke his nose!

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