Air force spokesman Shen Jinke said that the patrol’s role is entirely defensive and that the planes will “monitor, identify, track and warn” foreign military aircraft that enter the ADIZ, conforming to international practices. Flights by international airlines have not been affected, he said.
This patrol is another in a string of controversial moves by China since it established the ADIZ last November. The United States, Europe and Japan have said that the zone is “provocative” and “exacerbates tensions between Beijing and Tokyo,” Reuters reports.
Japan released a new national security strategy last month, which notes new “‘gray-zone’ situations” in the Asia-Pacific region and plans “a comprehensive architecture for responding seamlessly to an array of situations.” Breaking Defense analyzed the new plan.
In December, Gwen Ifill spoke with two former State Department officials, Kurt Campbell and Susan Shirk, about the rising tensions between Japan and China.