Sunday, December 1, 2013

Chinese Fighters Shadow US and Japanese Warplanes in Disputed Air Defence Identification Zone

Global Research
November 30, 2013

The Chinese air force yesterday scrambled Su-30 and J-11 fighter jets after a dozen American and Japanese military aircraft entered the air defence identification zone (ADIZ) proclaimed by Beijing last weekend in the East China Sea. The incident is the first direct Chinese reaction to a US or Japanese incursion and heightens the danger of a miscalculation leading to a clash and conflict.
Having declared the ADIZ, which overlaps with Japan’s own ADIZ and provocatively includes the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands, the Chinese government has come under pressure from hawkish sections of the ruling elite not to back away. The Obama administration immediately challenged the ADIZ by flying nuclear-capable B-52 bombers into the area on Tuesday without abiding by Chinese rules to provide flight plans, identification and maintain radio contact. Japan and South Korea followed suit on Wednesday, sending military aircraft to the zone.
According to the Chinese Defence Ministry, the Chinese fighters identified two US reconnaissance planes and 10 Japanese military aircraft, including early warning, reconnaissance and fighter aircraft. The statement explained that the Chinese aircraft monitored their American and Japanese counterparts throughout their flights in the ADIZ.
Asked about the Chinese statement, Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren acknowledged the US flights but provided no details. “The US will continue to partner our allies and will operate in the area as normal,” he said. Japan’s Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera also played down the incident, saying: “We are simply conducting our ordinary warning and surveillance activity like before.”
Far from operating “normally,” the US and Japan have seized upon the Chinese ADIZ to justify their closer military collaboration and build-up in areas adjacent to the Chinese mainland. An American defence official told yesterday that the US military was conducting daily flights through the zone without notifying Chinese authorities in advance.

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