• Wed
  • Dec 24, 2014
  • Updated: 6:33am

Diaoyu Islands

The Diaoyu Islands are a group of uninhabited islands located roughly due east of mainland China, northeast of Taiwan, west of Okinawa Island, and north of the southwestern end of the Ryukyu Islands. They are currently controlled by Japan, which calls them Senkaku Islands. Both China and Taiwan claim sovereignty over the islands. 

NewsChina
Defence zone

US slams China's Diaoyu air defence identification zone as 'destabilising'

Secretary of State John Kerry 'deeply concerned' over China's new air defence identification zone and reiterates US determination to defend its ally Japan

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 24 November, 2013, 2:32pm
UPDATED : Monday, 25 November, 2013, 3:18am

The United States has expressed strong concerns to China over an escalation in regional tensions in the East China Sea, saying it increased the risk of an incident.

The White House, State Department and Pentagon issued statements after China bolstered its claim to islands that Japan says it owns, warning that it would take "defensive emergency measures" against aircraft that failed to identify themselves properly in airspace over them.

"We urge China not to implement its threat to take action against aircraft that do not identify themselves or obey orders from Beijing," said Secretary of State John Kerry.

In a move that Japan branded as "very dangerous," China said on Saturday it was setting up the "air defence identification zone", which encompasses the islands, to guard against "potential air threats". On Saturday afternoon, China sent two fighter planes to carry out a patrol mission in the newly established zone, which prompted Japan to scramble fighter jets.

The People's Liberation Army Daily, the mouthpiece newspaper for China's military, said yesterday the army had the capacity and resolve to safeguard China's territorial sovereignty and national interests.

The White House said the "escalatory development" increased regional tensions and affected US interests and those of its allies.

"We have conveyed our strong concerns to China and are co-ordinating closely with allies and partners in the region," said Caitlin Hayden, spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council.

The Pentagon said China's move was "a destabilising attempt to alter the status quo in the region." It added the Chinese announcement would not "change how the United States conducts military operations in the region".

Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel reiterated on Saturday that the Senkaku islands - which the Chinese claim and call the Diaoyus - fall under the US-Japan security treaty, meaning that Washington would defend its ally Tokyo if the area was attacked. The defence chief made it clear that the US, which stations more than 70,000 troops in Japan and South Korea, would not respect China's declaration of control over the zone.

Former Japanese foreign minister Masahiko Komura, speaking as deputy head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, said Tokyo should "keep on doing what it has been doing in a straightforward manner" apart from making protests to Beijing.

"At the same time, defence officials of the two countries must keep in close communication with each other in order to prevent a touch-and-go situation from arising under any circumstances," Komura said.

Tensions in the region are expected to be a topic of discussion when US Vice-President Joe Biden travels to China, Japan and South Korea early next month.

The United States has not taken a position on sovereignty issues in the regional maritime disputes, but has stressed the need for the free flow of commerce, a reduction in tensions, and peace and stability.

Reuters, Agence France-Presse

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This article is now closed to comments

lamlm38
"Japan last year nationalised the islands last year and has vowed not to cede sovereignty or even to acknowledge a dispute with China,"
"The United States says that it has no position on the islands’ ultimate sovereignty but believes that they are currently under Japanese administration."
WTF? the US has effectively given the ultimate sovereignty to JP!!
be.way.5
In Asia if China doesn’t stand up to counter the Japanese naked aggression, who else will; India, Korea or even Asean. No, none of them have the capability nor the courage to stand up to challenge the heinous crimes being committed by the brutal Japanese army. For many centuries ago when China was strong, Japan has no means to show its aggression though it did attempt to invade Korea a couple of times but it was all repelled by the Chinese forces in cooperation with the Koreans. The only time when China is weak in the last century, the ugly Japanese people took advantage of the situation to invade, plunder and kill millions of Asians.
It’s time Asians should unite to tame the fascist Japan playing by the evil motives of its puppet master U.S behind, from playing havoc and rivalry between Asian nations.
chinaradioint
People should ask why there's no such a zone in the first place? Japanese defense zone includes Diaoyu Islands, which is under dispute to say the least, why shouldn't China do the similar? Why is China provoking the situation while it had exercised retraint over the situation? US should be more neutral. Or China shouldn't give a damn at all to the US bluster.
daily
The Americans are always "deeply concerned" about everybody else's business..........they will never learn to mind their own business..........
babyhenry
What objective journalism, literally no mentioning of the Japan's long time air defense zone, which is just as provocative as it covers the diaoyu islands.
I also see the article decide to end it with a joke, the US not taking sides?
pjdscmp1
It's hard to deny that China has long looked for a chance to settle the score with Japan, and China appears to be spoiling for a fight. The sad reality is that any conflict over these tiny disputed rocks will lead to a lose-lose scenario for the entire region. Without a doubt, any serious incident it will massively up the ante and raise nationalistic fervor in both China and in Japan, making it very difficult for either side to back down. We can only pray for restraint by all parties involved.
lamlm38
@jpinst: as if we Chinese were afraid of JPs military build up.. the JPs knows too well military buildup would bankrupt them in the long run that's why they prefer to hide behind American skirt!!!!
babyhenry
The Japanese rebuilding its military will be great, it will further burden itself in debt in an ever ageing society. What makes anyone think that once Japan have rebuilt its military to its full potential that it will only point their new toys at China? And not the other side of the pacific too? Because they "promised"?
BTW the Japanese SDF is not weak at all and the PLA is fully aware of that.
eltonsong
You should ask this to Japan!
ennoun
China needs to be very careful. The US, Japan, South Korea and numerous other Asian countries would not need to work very hard to contain China's expansionary policies in their tracks and which could end with China losing face, and discovering that the allies are much more technologically superior and have real war experience. China needs to give this matter some serious thought , stop threatening every country in SE and NE Asia because clearly they would lose in any confrontation with much more powerful, better equipped and better trained armed forces. No contest! Best for China not to bite off more than it can handle.

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