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China’s defence ministry on Thursday hit back forcefully at Japan’s objections to its newly-established Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea that covers long-disputed islets claimed by both countries.
“Japan has absolutely no right to make irresponsible comments regarding China setting up the East China Sea ADIZ,” ministry spokesman Yang Yujun told media in a routine press conference, according to China’s Ministry of National Defence website.
“We would like to ask Japan to revoke its own ADIZ first, China will then consider this request in 44 years,” Yang Yujun reportedly said when asked to comment on requests from Japan and the US to revoke the zone. Japan established its ADIZ 44 years ago in 1969.
Tensions between China and Japan, the world’s second and third largest economies, have escalated over the past week after China set up its first ADIZ on Saturday in the East China Sea in an area covering Tokyo-administered islands.
The Chinese ADIZ requires all aircrafts flying inside the zone to inform China of their flight plans and to maintain two-way radio communication.
It has since triggered strong protests from several countries led by Japan and the United States. Both have said their aircrafts would not inform China of their flight plans when flying through the zone, and urged China to withdraw the plan.
Earlier of this week, the US air force sent two B52 bombers into the zone in a show of force. Unnamed sources at Japan’s defence ministry claimed that Japanese military and paramilitary planes had flown thorough the zone without any resistance from Chinese jets, according to the Asahi Shimbun.
Watch: The South China Sea diplomatic row intensifies
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