By IAN MADER
National Nov. 30, 2013 – 04:40PM JST ( 16 )
The United States on Saturday advised U.S. carriers to comply with China’s demand that it be told of any flights passing through its new maritime air defense zone over the East China Sea, an area where Beijing said it launched two fighter planes to investigate a dozen American and Japanese reconnaissance and military flights.
It was the first time since proclaiming the zone on Nov 23 that China said it sent planes there on the same day as foreign military flights, although it said it merely identified the foreign planes and took no further action.
China announced last week that all aircraft entering the zone — a maritime area between China, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan — must notify Chinese authorities beforehand and that it would take unspecified defensive measures against those that don’t comply. Neighboring countries and the U.S. have said they will not honor the new zone — believed aimed at claiming disputed territory — and have said it unnecessarily raises tensions.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement that the U.S. remained deeply concerned about China’s declared air identification zone. But she said that it is advising U.S. air carriers abroad to comply with notification requirements issued by China.
On Wednesday, Psaki had said the U.S. government was working to determine if the new rules applied to civil aviation. But she said that in the meantime, U.S. air carriers were being advised to take all steps they consider necessary to operate safely in the East China Sea region.
Categories: Escalation / Destabilization Conflict