Author: China National News
Posted: Thursday, March 23rd, 2017
In an encounter in the East China Sea, which is Beijing’s self-declared zone, China says it warned a U.S. bomber that it had been flying in the country’s zone illegally.
Soon after, china informed the United States that it should respect its air defense identification zone (ADIZ).
In 2013, the zone in the East china Sea was declared as a Chinese region, in which aircrafts are supposed to identify themselves to Chinese authorities.
The controversial zone covers a disputed island chain and overlaps with airspace claimed by Japan and South Korea.
However, since then, the United States and Japan have refused to recognize this.
The U.S. Pacific Air Forces spokesman Maj. Phil Ventura reportedly stated that the U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bomber was flying near South Korea on Sunday and that its pilots responded to Chinese air traffic controllers.
The U.S. plane was said to be flying 70 nautical miles south-west of South Korea’s Jeju Island.
They informed the Chinese ATC that they were carrying out routine operations in international airspace and that the aircraft did not deviate from its flight path.
Further, the U.S. Air Force added that the Guam-based B-1 bomber was conducting a series of training missions with Japanese and South Korean military aircraft.
Meanwhile, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said that she had not heard of the matter.
Chunying said at a daily news briefing, “Generally speaking, I hope that in this region all countries’ actions consider the security concerns of relevant countries and be beneficial for mutual trust, peace and stability between countries.”
She added, “The United States has its own ADIZs. I think if this matter is true, they should respect China’s relevant ADIZ rights.”
She referred specific questions to the Defense Ministry that has not made a comment so far.
Ventura meanwhile added, “Pacific Air Forces … did not recognize the Chinese Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) when it was announced in November of 2013, and does not recognize it today. The ADIZ has not changed our operations.”
While China calls the zone Diaoyu Islands, Japan and the U.S. refer to it as Senkaku Islands.
The disputed zone has witnessed many face-offs between Japanese and Chinese warplanes and ships.
Earlier, in a statement announcing the training mission, U.S. Maj. Ryan Simpson, the Pacific Air Forces bomber operations chief had stated, “Our increased cooperation enables our combined forces to rapidly react to counter aggression against Japan and other allies and partners.”