11/30/2013, 00.00
UNITED STATES - CHINA
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East China Sea: US tells airlines to comply with Beijing's rules

For Washington, respecting Beijing's rules does not mean accepting its unilaterally imposed Air Defence Identification Zone (AZID). To counter China's claims, US sends B52, South Korea deploys military patrol plane whilst Japan tells civilian air carriers not to bow to Beijing's orders.

Washington (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The United States said that it expects its civilian aircraft to observe China's rules in an air defence zone in the East China Sea.

In a statement, Washington said it "expects that US carriers operating internationally will operate consistent with Notams [Notices to Airmen] issued by foreign countries". However, this did not mean that it accepted China's Air Defence Identification Zone (AZID).

For its part, China sent its only aircraft carrier Liaoning into the disputed waters.

The US government statement comes after days of tension between Beijing, Washington, Seoul and Tokyo following China's Defence Ministry announced on 23 November an Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) requiring civilian planes to identify themselves and follow Defence Ministry orders.

In response to Beijing's hegemonic aims in the East China Sea, the US sent two B52 bombers to the area, without prior notification to Beijing. South Korea also sent a military patrol plane whilst Japan told its airlines - Ana and Japan Airlines - not to bow to Chinese demands. Thus, every day dozens of planes defy Beijing.

Countries like South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines fear that the AZID may be followed by sovereignty claims.

China has been involved in a dispute with Japan for sovereignty over the Senkaku/Diaoyu in the East China Sea, and with the Philippines over the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea.

In the South China Sea, Beijing claims sovereignty over the Spratly and Paracel Islands as do Vietnam, Brunei, Philippines, Malaysia and Taiwan.

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