China rejects US, Japan objections to new air defence zone

PTI Beijing | Updated on March 12, 2018

China has termed the objections raised by Japan and the US on its move to create an air defence zone over the disputed islands in the East China Sea as “absolutely groundless and unacceptable”, and lodged a protest with Washington objecting to its criticism.

Reacting to the protests lodged by Japan over the creation of the East China Sea Air Defence Identification Zone, Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said Japan’s remarks are “utterly groundless and China won’t accept them’’.

He also termed US criticism of the zone as groundless, state-run Xinhua news agency quoted him as saying.

The United States is now raising opposition and blaming China which is totally groundless, Yang said.

The Foreign Affairs Office of China’s Defence Ministry had lodged solemn representations with the military attache of the US Embassy in China yesterday, Yang said.

“The establishment of the East China Sea Air Defence Identification Zone by the Chinese Government is “totally rational and indisputable,” he said.

According to Yang, 20-plus countries, including the United States, have set up their own air defence identification zones since the 1950s.

US Secretary of State John Kerry strongly criticised the creation of the zone saying that Washington is “deeply concerned” and asked Beijing not to enforce the decision.

“This unilateral action constitutes an attempt to change the status quo in the East China Sea. Escalatory action will only increase tensions in the region and create risks of an incident,” he said.

“Freedom of over flight and other internationally lawful uses of sea and airspace are essential to prosperity, stability and security in the Pacific,” Kerry said.

Under the new zone, all the foreign aircraft will have to identify themselves while flying over the disputed islands called Diaoyu by China and Senkakus by Japan and inform their flight plans to Beijing in advance.

Yang reiterated that China’s move aims to safeguard the country’s state sovereignty and territorial and airspace safety and ensure the order for flight.

He said the move is a necessary measure for China to effectively exercise the self-defence right and conforms to the Charter of the United Nations and international laws and practices.

Published on November 25, 2013

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