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China monitored US B52 bombers’ flight through disputed air defence zone

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Tania Branigan
London Guardian
November 27, 2013

The open challenge by the US to China’s new air defence zone over the East China Sea was met with a muted response in Beijing, as China faced growing resistance to its attempt to extend its authority in the region.

China’s defence ministry said it had monitored two unarmed B-52 bombers that flew though the zone on Tuesday, and reasserted its ability to control the airspace. But its statement did not mention a previous warning that it would take “defensive emergency measures” if aircraft did not respond to instructions.

The zone covers islands at the heart of a long-running territorial dispute with Japan and overlaps with those already established by Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. Analysts say China is testing Japan’s administrative control of the islands, while Beijing says it is exercising its right to self-defence.

Washington and Tokyo are refusing to acknowledge the zone and US officials said the B-52s had entered it without identifying themselves, with no attempted contact from the Chinese military. The two main Japanese commercial carriers, Japan Airlines and ANA – which initially offered China flight plans – stopped doing so on Wednesday under government pressure.

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This article was posted: Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at 6:25 am

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