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China defends drone flights over East China Sea
October 27, 2013, 7:01 am

Japanese media have reported that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had approved a policy for Japan to shoot down Chinese drones, if necessary [Xinhua]

Japanese media have reported that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had approved a policy for Japan to shoot down Chinese drones, if necessary [Xinhua]

China said on Friday that the training and flight of its military aircraft, including drones, over relevant areas of the East China Sea are in concurrence with international law and practice.

Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng was responding to questions about Japan’s announcement that it would shoot down drones that infringe its airspace.

China has said it would consider any such move by Japan as “a severe provocation” and “an act of war”.

“Chinese aircraft have never infringed on other countries’ airspace, and China never allows other countries’ aircraft to infringe on China’s airspace,” Geng said.

Japanese media have reported that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had approved a policy for Japan to shoot down Chinese drones, if necessary.

“If Japan does resort to enforcement measures like shooting down aircraft, that is a serious provocation to us, an act of war.”

“We will undertake decisive action to strike back, with every consequence borne by the side that caused the trouble,” Chinese Defence Ministry spokesperson Geng added.

In an interview to US-based Wall Street Journal on Saturday, Abe said Tokyo would take the lead in “guarding against China”.

“There are concerns that China is attempting to change the status quo by force, rather than by rule of law. But if China opts to take that path, then it won’t be able to emerge peacefully,” he told WSJ.

Tokyo and Beijing are embroiled in a dispute over ownership of a group of islands in the East China Sea known as Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan.

The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a congressional body of the US government, has described China’s drone program as “advanced”.

Chinese maritime security services have already integrated drones.

China is gaining a bigger share of the market for military drones, selling its Wing Loong unmanned aerial vehicle to at least three nations, the state-run China Daily newspaper reported in September this year.

 

With inputs from Agencies

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