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Beijing monitors US flight over air defence zone
November 27, 2013, 7:45 am

US officials have denied the flight was in response to China’s recent announcement of the new defence zone that includes a chain of islands also claimed by Japan [AP]

US officials have denied the flight was in response to China’s recent announcement of the new defence zone that includes a chain of islands also claimed by Japan [AP]

Two US military aircrafts flew into China’s newly announced air defense zone over the East China Sea on Tuesday without following the necessary identification procedures set forth by Beijing recently.

Beijing on Wednesday said it monitored the flight of the bombers as they were on their training mission.

“The Chinese air force monitored the entire course and identified (them) in a timely way, ascertaining that they were U.S. aircraft,” said a Chinese Defence Ministry statement on Wednesday.

“We need to stress that China will identify every aircraft flying in the air defense identification zone according to the country’s announcement of aircraft identification rules for the air defense identification zone,” said China’s defense ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng.

“The Chinese side has the ability to effectively manage and control the relevant airspace,” it warned.

US officials have denied the flight was in response to China’s recent announcement of the new defence zone that includes a chain of islands also claimed by Japan.

In an interview with China’s CCTV, the US Deputy National Security Advisor, Ben Rhodes says the two B-52 bombers flying into the zone is ‘a planned flight exercise”.

“Well, it was a long plan exercise. We do many military exercises in the region. This is something we have planned many weeks ago. And we said when the Chinese made their announcement, we will continue our military operation as usual.” Rhodes said.

China had said earlier that it would take “defensive emergency measures” against aircraft that failed to identify themselves properly in the new zone.

US National Security Advisor Susan Rice said last week that US “military presence in the region is vital to deter threats and defend allies”.

Chinese government issued a statement on Saturday announcing the new zone had been established.

Fan Liqing, spokesperson of Taiwan’s State Council said on Wednesday the zone has been set up in accordance with international practices, and that “the United States and Japan established their own a long time ago”.

China and Japan are locked in a territorial dispute over a group of uninhabited islands known as the Diaoyu in China and the Senkaku in Japan.

China’s new defence zone also partly overlaps with Seoul’s military air zone. Senior military officials from South Korea and China will hold the third bilateral strategic talks in Seoul on Thursday to discuss the air defence zone issue.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, left its homeport of Qingdao for the South China Sea on Tuesday on what authorities said was a “scientific and training mission”.

This is the first time the carrier has conducted a cross-sea training voyage since it was commissioned into China’s People’s Liberation Army.

 

Source: Agencies 

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