China objects to U.S. over sea defense zone remarks

November 25, 2013


BEIJING--China's Foreign Ministry said it has complained to the United States over its “irresponsible remarks” about China's drawing up of a sea air defense zone that includes disputed islands administered by Japan.

China's Defense Ministry also called Japan's objections to its East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone “absolutely groundless and unacceptable” and said it had made solemn representations to the Japanese Embassy in Beijing.

Japan complained that China had escalated tensions over the small islands in the East China Sea that both countries claim, and potentially escalated the danger of accidental collisions between the two sides.

On No. 23, Beijing issued a map of the zone and a set of rules, which say all aircraft must notify Chinese authorities and are subject to emergency military measures if they do not identify themselves or obey Beijing's orders.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in a statement on Nov. 24 that the zone's aim is to defend China's sovereignty and the security of its airspace and land. He said it is not aimed at any country and it does not affect freedom of overflight.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel have both said the U.S. is “deeply concerned” about China's unilateral action.

Qin said China made solemn representations on Nov. 24 to U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke for the U.S. “to correct its mistakes and stop making irresponsible remarks on China.”

Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said the ministry had complained to the U.S. Embassy's military attache on Sunday evening.

The U.S. doesn't take a position on who has sovereignty over the islands--called Diaoyu in Chinese and Senkaku in Japanese--but recognizes they are under Japanese administration.

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China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang (Pool)

China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang (Pool)

  • China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang (Pool)

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