China Escalates Island Dispute with Japan - Update
Two U.S. military aircraft flew unannounced near a chain of islands claimed by both Japan and China, and through a newly established air defense zone China claims it controls.China said aircraft in the area must identify and follow Chinese air traffic instructions.
“Last night, eastern time, there was a military training sortie in the vicinity of the Senkaku Islands,” Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Tom Crosson said Tuesday. “This was a long-planned training sortie.”
There was no reaction from China, Crosson said.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the aircraft were B-52 bombers, but Pentagon officials would not confirm that.
The U.S. responded by saying, "Up yours!" I've paraphrased.
China Escalates Island Dispute with Japan
[Previous 11/24/13 post]
(East China Sea)
A simmering territorial and maritime dispute in Asia erupted at the weekend as Washington warned Beijing it would back Japan militarily in any confrontation arising from China's latest unilateral assertion of its claims.Presumably, next comes shooting.
The Obama administration weighed in after China moved to in effect "rope off" the seas and skies around the disputed Japanese-administered Senkaku islands in the east China Sea.
In a tough statement reflecting the surprise and alarm felt in Washington and Tokyo at China's perceived sudden escalation of the dispute, Chuck Hagel, defence secretary, said the US was "deeply concerned" at the development, in which China appears to be trying to control who can enter and leave the area.
The imposition of the zone was a "destabilising attempt to alter the status quo in the region", Hagel said. "This unilateral action increases the risk of misunderstanding and miscalculations ... We are in close consultation with our allies and partners in the region, including Japan. We remain steadfast in our commitments."
Hagel reminded Beijing that the remote Senkaku islands, known as Diaoyu in China, are covered by the 1952 US-Japan security treaty, under which the US is committed to fighting alongside Japan to repel any "common danger".
Washington's swift intervention showed just how easily a little local difficulty in the volatile east Asian region could potentially trigger a superpower clash.