News / Asia

US B-52 Bombers Challenge China Air Defense Zone

US Warplanes Defy China Air Defense Zonei
X
November 27, 2013 6:41 AM
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.
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

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More