U.S. bombers defy disputed Chinese air space


Wikimedia user Jackopoid

The Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, located in the East China Sea, are part of disputed territory between Japan and China. Map by Wikimedia user Jackopoid

Two U.S. B-52 bombers flew over disputed islands in the East China Sea Tuesday, not complying with new air space rules China has placed on the claimed “air defense identification zone.”

China announced Saturday that any plane entering the airspace over the islands — known as Senkaku to Japan and Diaoyu to China — would have to inform Beijing of their intentions. Any planes failing to do so would face “defensive emergency measures.”

The unarmed U.S. aircraft took off from Guam Monday, Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren said, as part of a planned, regular exercise in the area.

“We have continued to follow our normal procedures, which include not filing flight plans, not radioing ahead and not registering our frequencies,” Warren said.

Japan, who claims the islands as their territory, also dismissed the new defense zone as “not valid at all.” The BBC reported that two of the country’s biggest airlines would not implement the new Chinese rules by request of the Japanese government.