China demands Japan drop its Air Defense Zone first

A controversial new Chinese air defense identification zone imposed over the East China Sea a week ago is being rejected by both Japan and the United States, prompting China to react.

China’s continuing to demand its actions from a week ago in imposing the ban, which stretches nearly 800 miles from the Senkaku Islands in southwest Okinawa Prefecture to territory covering disputed islands both Korea and Japan claim.  National Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun says the identification zone is not intended to expand China’s territory, but rather, to keep its airspace secure.

Yang emphasizes that the Chinese zone will not affect civil aviation, but did call on airlines to cooperate with Chinese authorities to maintain flight safety.  Japan’s airlines say they’re not following the Chinese rules, which demand all flights entering the zone file a flight plan, maintain communications with China, and obey Chinese direction.  U.S. airlines, at the recommendation of American President Barack Obama, are obeying China’s new policy.

China’s Defense Ministry has rejected Japan’s demands the new air defense zone be withdrawn.  Spokesman Yang Yujun wants Japan to first get rid of its own zone.  He notes Japan first designated an identification zone 44 years ago.  Yujun said given Japan’s zone, perhaps China will institute its own review “in 44 years time.”