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Yesterday China has announced to have created an “air-defence identification zone” over an area of the East China Sea, covering Japanese Air-Space, over islands legally controlled by Japan but claimed by China. China’s Defence Ministry said that any aircraft entering the zone must obey its rules or face “emergency defensive measures”. “China’s armed forces will adopt defensive emergency measures to respond to aircraft that do not cooperate in the identification or refuse to follow the instructions”, Xinhua said.
Japanese protesters said that the move was a plain an official williness to bring war in the region. “Setting up such airspace unilaterally escalates the situations surrounding Senkaku islands and has danger of leading to an unexpected situation”, Japan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Along with the creation of the zone in the East China Sea, the defense ministry released a set of aircraft identification rules that must be followed by all planes entering the area, under penalty of intervention by the military.
Aircraft are expected to provide their flight plan, clearly mark their nationality, and maintain two-way radio communication allowing them to “respond in a timely and accurate manner to the identification inquiries” from Chinese authorities. The outline of the zone, which is shown on the Chinese defence ministry website and a state media Twitter account (pic.twitter.com/4a2vC6PH8O ), covers a wide area of the East China Sea between South Korea and Taiwan that includes airspace above the Tokyo-controlled islands known as the Senkaku to Japan and Diaoyu to China.
Read Chinese New “Air-Defence Identification Zone” Rules Japan’s vice foreign minister Akitaka Saiki plans to summon the Chinese ambassador to Japan, Cheng Yonghua, as early as possible on Monday and state Japan’s position on the matter, Kyodo news agency reported. Patrol ships from both countries have been shadowing each other near the islets on and off for months, raising fears that a confrontation could develop into a clash. There have also been several incidents involving military aircraft flying close to each other. In October, Chinese military aircraft flew near Japan three days in a row, and Japan scrambled fighter jets each time in response. In September this year, Japan said it would shoot down unmanned aircraft in Japanese airspace after an unmanned Chinese drone flew close to the disputed islands. China said that any attempt by Japan to shoot down Chinese aircraft would constitute “an act of war”.
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