China establishes air defense zone
By The Washington Post
Published: Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
SEOUL — China said on Saturday that noncommercial aircraft entering a broad zone over the East China Sea must first identify themselves to Beijing, at the risk of facing “defensive emergency measures” by 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 on Saturday, any Japanese aircraft flying around those islands would need to submit flight plans to China's Foreign Ministry or civil aviation administration. Crews would need to maintain radio communication with Chinese authorities.
China did not detail 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.
Later on Saturday, the country's air force conducted its first air patrol after the establishment of the new zone, with two large scouts leading the mission and early-warning aircraft and fighters providing support and cover, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.
“The patrol is in line with international common practices, and normal international flights will not be affected,” said Shen Jinke, spokesman for the air force.
Numerous countries, including the United States and Japan, have air defense identification zones of their own. The zones are established to help countries track or monitor aircraft nearing their territories, but in this case, the zones of Japan and China overlap. Security experts worry that China's new zone could increase the likelihood of a mishap that sparks a wider armed conflict, drawing in the United States, which is treaty-bound to protect Japan.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- U.S. drone strike in Yemen kills suspected al-Qaida militants
- Third mate unfamiliar with waters where South Korean ferry sank
- Holocaust survivors taxed, student finds in search of Amsterdam city archives
- French journalists freed from captivity in Syria
- Fiat and Chrysler to build Jeep models in China
- French sweep school’s males for DNA to try to solve rape
- South Korean ferry captain arrested; crew’s actions faulted in sinking
- Russia quiets Voice of America
- 12 killed, 4 missing in avalanche on Mt. Everest
- In Egypt, government watchdog Genena hit by backlash in uncovering corruption
- Murder case against 9-month-old boy dropped