The United States, Europe and Japan have criticized China's air
defense zone, saying its establishment last November was provocative
and exacerbates tensions between Beijing and Tokyo.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe this week said Japan and China
should avoid repeating the past mistakes of Britain and Germany,
which fought in World War One despite strong economic ties.
Ties have been strained by a recent visit by Japanese Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe to a controversial shrine for war dead, China's air
defense zone and the long-running dispute over a string of East
China Sea islets that both countries claim, known as the Diaoyu in
Chinese and the Senkaku in Japanese.
China, which is rapidly expanding military spending and is the
world's second largest economy, has repeatedly dispatched long-range
patrols to the East China Sea since it established the defense zone.
The most recent patrol, made up of several aircrafts, set out to
verify the identities of foreign crafts, shadow planes to "collect
evidence" about them, and administer warnings, said Defense Ministry
spokesman Shen Jinke, according to an article in the official
Liberation Daily posted on the ministry's website.
The Air Defence Identification Zone has not impacted commercial air
traffic, Shen added, and China's patrols are purely defensive and
consistent with international norms.
[to top of second column]
China has frequently given verbal warnings to foreign military
aircrafts to enforce its dominion over the zone.
Japanese fighter jets scrambled against Chinese planes a record
number of times in April-December.
(Reporting by Megha Rajagopalan; editing by Michael Perry)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.