BEIJING Jan 24 China's airforce has dispatched
another patrol to monitor its controversial air defence zone in
the East China Sea and issue warnings to foreign military jets
in the zone, it said on Friday.
The United States, Europe and Japan have criticised China's
air defence 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 have been strained by a recent visit by Japanese Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe to a controversial shrine for war dead,
China's air defence 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 defence 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
Defence Ministry spokesman Shen Jinke, according to an article
in the official Liberation Daily posted on the ministry's
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.
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)