Escalation / Destabilization Conflict

China sends warplanes to new air defence zone amid tensions

China has reacted to US and Japanese breaches by reportedly announcing it will   now carry out regular patrols

Japanese officials say the country's air force and coastguard have flown through China's air defence identification zone without meeting any resistance

A Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force surveillance plane flies over the disputed islands in the East China Sea, called the Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China Photo: AP
Alex Spillius

By , Diplomatic Correspondent

5:20PM GMT 28 Nov 2013

China has dispatched war planes to a newly declared air defence zone over the   East China Sea, according to reports.

Xinhua, the state news agency, quoted an air force colonel as saying the   aircraft had carried out “routine patrols” of the zone, which covers nearly   one million square miles of airspace.

If confirmed, the move would dramatically escalate tensions already running high after the United States, Japan and South Korea all ignored the declaration, which was made at the weekend.

China had insisted that any planes traversing the area should submit flight   plans or face “emergency defensive measures”.

Washington responded by sending in two unarmed B52 bombers into the zone on   Tuesday, while Japan and South Korea yesterday flew military aircraft into   the area in defiance of Beijing.

The zone includes a cluster of rocky outcrops known as the Senkaku islands in   Japan and Diaoyu in China.

Earlier Japanese surveillance aircraft have conducted routine operations   within China’s recently declared air defence identification zone.

Beijing announced on Sunday that any aircraft entering the zone, which covers   nearly 1 million square miles above the East China Sea, would be challenged,   required to identify itself and follow Chinese order.

Read More: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/10481766/China-sends-warplanes-to-new-air-defence-zone-amid-tensions.html