Tuesday, 26 November 2013

China escalates tension in the East China Sea

China has demarcated an "air-defence identification zone" (ADIZ) over an area of the East China Sea that includes the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands, which are also claimed by Japan, the Chinese Defense Ministry announced November 23, BBC reported...The ministry said aircraft entering the zone must obey Chinese rules - such as reporting flight plans, responding to logo and transponder identification inquiries, and maintaining two-way radio communications - or face emergency defensive measures...The Japanese Foreign Ministry lodged a strong protest over what it called a unilateral escalation that risks leading to an unexpected situation, causing the Chinese Foreign Ministry to summon the Japanese Ambassador to express its displeasure with Tokyo's response...The proposed ADIZ is approximately two-thirds the size of the United Kingdom sitting right on top of the disputed islands and puts Japan in a tight spot and directly challenges the United States...Japan has previously said it would shoot down any Chinese UAV entering Japanese airspace, causing Beijing to say such a move would constitute an act of war...In response to Beijing’s ADIZ, both Japan and the United States indicated they will continue to conduct operations in the area without any changes...Tension is already high and both countries appear unwilling to formalise anything like a standard Incidents at Sea-type agreement, relying on tit-for-tat military escalation instead...Adding more unilateral protocols will increase the chances of a diplomatically embarrassing interception or even a miscalculation sparking conflict.

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