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China creates new air defense zone in East China Sea amid dispute with Japan

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Chico Harlan
Washington Post
November 23, 2013

SEOUL — China on Saturday said that any non-commercial aircraft entering a broad zone over the East China Sea must first identify themselves to Beijing, at the risk of facing “defensive emergency measures” from Chinese armed forces.

China’s establishment of a so-called air defense identification zone , announced by its Ministry of National Defense, adds a new dimension to the simmering territorial dispute with Japan and raises the odds of armed conflict.

The eight uninhabited islands at the center of that dispute fall within China’s new aerial zone. Based on guidelines that China’s defense ministry released Saturday, any Japanese aircraft flying around those islands would need to submit their flight plans to China’s foreign ministry or civil aviation administration. They’d also need to maintain radio communication with Chinese authorities.

China did not detail what measures it would take against aircraft that disobey, but defense experts say its military could scramble jets or even shoot down planes it views as a threat.

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This article was posted: Saturday, November 23, 2013 at 4:56 am





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