Chinese air traffic controllers ordered a US military aircraft to leave a disputed area, but the US bomber ignored it and pursued its mission. ""Pacific Air Forces . . . did not recognise the Chinese Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) when it was announced in November of 2013, and does not recognise it today," a US official said.
Washington (AsiaNews/Agencies) – An incident involving China’s air defence and a US aircraft highlights the ongoing tensions over the South China Sea and the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, areas disputed by coastal states like China, Japan, Brunei, the Philippines, Taiwan and South Korea.
Last Sunday Chinese air traffic controllers warned a US Air Force B-1B Lancer bomber (pictured) that it had entered Chinese airspace and ordered it to leave. The pilots responded saying that they were in an international air space near South Korea, and that they had no intention of changing course.
The plane had entered a disputed Chinese Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea, which covers a disputed island chain and overlaps with airspace claimed by both Japan and South Korea, US Pacific Air Forces spokesman Maj. Phil Ventura told CNN.
The ADIZ declaration requires airlines flying over the designated waters to first notify Chinese authorities before transiting. The US and Japanese governments do not recognise China's claim on the area.
"Pacific Air Forces . . . did not recognise the Chinese Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) when it was announced in November of 2013, and does not recognise it today," Ventura said.
Tensions have risen between Japan and China over the aforementioned islands, especially since 2012 when the Japanese government indicated its intention to buy them from a private owner.
Since then, military provocations, formal protests, popular demonstrations and appeals to the United Nations have followed.
At the same time, Tokyo and Beijing have repeatedly called on the international community not to meddle in the case and let them solve it on their own.