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China Refusing to Back Down Against US, Japan in East China Sea


Beijing is refusing to back down in the dispute over its newly-declared Air Defense Identification Zone in the East China Sea. Dozens of American, Japanese, and South Korean aircraft have since passed through the ADIZ on what officials called standard exercises. At first China said only that it had monitored the flights from afar; today, however, Chinese fighter jets confronted American and Japanese aircraft inside the zone. The Chinese tailed the two US and ten Japanese planes, a defense ministry spokesman said, but took no further action.

Tension between China and its neighbors and the US is escalating significantly. Authorities in Beijing say there is nothing unusual about its new ADIZ, even though it encompasses territory administered by Japan, and they accuse Tokyo and Washington of escalating the situation to dangerous levels by repeatedly violating the ADIZ and not obeying China’s rules. A spokesman for China’s defense ministry hit out at Tokyo yesterday, saying the ADIZ would be there for decades.

This dangerous disagreement is occurring amid a period of an intense arms build-up in East Asia. China’s navy is hastily pursuing new coast guard defense ships and aircraft and surveillance capabilities, and launching patrol exercises that approach and threaten Japanese territory. Meanwhile, Japan’s nationalist prime minister is overhauling the Japan Defense Forces and seeking to alter Tokyo’s pacifist constitution. “The security environment surrounding our country has become increasingly grave,” reads a forthcoming update to Japan’s defense policy, as the South China Morning Post reports. Behind the scenes, there are signs that North Korea is restarting its nuclear activities.

Interesting times.

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  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    This is good, let China’s belligerence and territorial ambitions be visible to everyone. Miscalculations will be reduced, and plans, training, and armament can be refined and tuned.

  • Andrew Allison

    Wouldn’t a more accurate headline have been: World refuses to back down in face of Chinese overreach?

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