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South Korea and Japan ignore China’s new air defense zone

Updated 3:55 p.m. EST | China sent fighter jets and an early warning aircraft on an normal air patrol over the newly declared maritime air defense zone Thursday, according to air spokesman Shen Jinke and a report by Xinhua agency. The Associated Press reports that it is not known when exactly the warplanes were sent.

Japan and South Korea confirmed they continue to make routine military surveillance flights over an East China Sea zone that China declared an “air defense identification zone.”

“Even since China has created this airspace defense zone, we have continued our surveillance activities as before in the East China Sea, including in the zone,” Japan’s top government spokesman, Yoshihide Suga told BBC News. “We are not going to change this [activity] out of consideration to China.”

China announced Saturday that any flights through the region must report plans, but Seoul and Toyko have continued flying through the zone without alerting the Chinese government in Beijing. The region includes islands claimed by Japan, South Korea, China and Taiwan.

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