News / Asia

US B-52 Bombers Challenge China Air Defense Zone

US Warplanes Defy China Air Defense Zonei
X
November 27, 2013
The U.S. military has made clear its position on China's new aviation restricted zone by flying two bombers through the area. China recently restricted air space in part of the East China Sea to assert its claim over a group of disputed islands. VOA Pentagon correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Watch related video from VOA's Luis Ramirez.

TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
The U.S. military has flown two unarmed B-52 bombers near disputed islands in the East China Sea, defying an attempt by China to wrest control of the territory from Japan.
 
China's defense ministry said Wednesday it monitored "the entire course of the flights and identified them in a timely way." It warned "China is capable of exercising effective control" over the area.
 
The Pentagon said the Monday flights did not trigger an immediate response from Beijing, which two days earlier declared the airspace part of a new air defense zone. China warned all aircraft to identify themselves before entering the area and to obey all orders from Beijing. 
 
U.S. officials described the Monday flights as part of long-planned and routine training missions, but analysts say it was a clear message that Washington will not recognize China's attempt to establish control over the area.
 
Ralph Cossa of the Hawaii-based Pacific Forum told VOA the B-52 flights were a "quick and appropriate" response to what is seen by many as a Chinese escalation.
 
"I think it was important to quickly demonstrate that we were not going to essentially allow the Chinese to start carving out international airspace that others cannot use," said Cossa.
 
China published coordinates for the so-called East China Sea Air Identification Zone on Saturday and warned it would take emergency defense measures to enforce its claim. Now, it is unclear to what extent China will enforce the new rules.
 
Herman Finley, an associate professor at the Asia-Pacific Center, told VOA that while it is not likely China will back down, it is probably not looking for a confrontation at this time.
 
"[The Chinese] push, they see what the reaction is, and then they push back when they see there's an opportunity. They've made their point. They'll wait and see when there's an appropriate, relatively predictable time to reassert their prerogatives," said Finley.
 
Some analysts have described the Chinese move as a miscalculation, saying it may have underestimated U.S. resolve to protect the interests of its ally, Japan.
 
Michael McKinley with the Australia National University told VOA that China is "pushing its luck" in this regard.
 
"It's attempting to see what is in the realm of the possible and the tolerable. The problem is that it's going to run into increasing resistance, particularly from those who think it would be better now rather than later to confront China with some higher form of force," said McKinley.
 
The flights over the uninhabited islands -- known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China -- came one week before U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to visit Beijing as part of a week-long trip to the Asia-Pacific region.
 
Biden is expected to voice U.S. concerns to Chinese officials about the increasingly tense situation, which comes as Beijing seeks to lay claim to large swaths of the East and South China seas.
 
Japan annexed the islets in the late 19th century, and China claimed sovereignty over the archipelago in 1971. Beijing linked its claims to ancient maps it says shows the territory has been Chinese for centuries.
 
The festering China-Japan dispute is one of several maritime controversies pitting China against Southeast Asian nations, including the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia.
 
Beijing has indicated a willingness to negotiate the disputes, but has so far rejected calls for multilateral talks. Chinese leaders would prefer separate talks with each country.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid