Thursday, 28 November 2013

Tensions rise over East China Sea

Update 26 May 2014: China, Japan clash over ‘dangerous’ aircraft manoeuvres
A Chinese SU-27 fighter flying over the East China Sea in this photo taken on May 24, 2014 and released by the Defence Ministry of Japan on May 25, 2014. Photo: Reuters

Japan and China yesterday accused each other’s air forces of dangerous behaviour over the East China Sea, with Japan saying Chinese aircraft had come within a few dozen metres of its warplanes.

Japan’s Defence Minister accused Beijing of going “over the top” in its approach to disputed territory.

China’s Defence Ministry said Japanese planes had carried out dangerous actions during its joint maritime exercises with Russia.

related:
China, Japan exchange barbs over action by warplanes in East China Sea
Japan condemns China fishing curbs, vows to defend islands

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Singapore, US kick off joint military exercise in South China Sea
The naval forces of Singapore and United States will carry out joint exercises in the international waters of the South China Sea as part of this year's Exercise CARAT (Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training), which begins on Tuesday (July 29)

Vice-Admiral Robert Thomas of the US Navy (USN) Seventh Fleet said the joint exercises are in line with America's "rebalancing" of forces in the Asia-Pacific and its commitment to freedom of access on the seas in the region. The USN's warships and aircraft will work together with the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) during the joint exercise.

Commenting on the tensions in the South China Sea between China and regional countries such as the Philippines and Vietnam, Vice-Admiral Thomas said while the Chinese Navy will likely carry out further operations there, the USN priorities operational readiness in the region, including offering its resources to aid in humanitarian efforts.

He said he "did not want to speculate" on what would warrant US military intervention in the region.


Infographic: Island row around China



Al Jazeera looks at the dispute over islands in East China Sea and South China Sea between China and its neighbours.


Vietnam, Philippines, China Bare Their Teeth in the South China Sea

Strains between China and its neighbors have burst to the surface in two parts of the South China Sea, complicating high-stakes arguments over who should control the area’s waters with new friction.

Off Vietnam, dozens of Chinese military and civilian ships clashed with the Vietnamese coast guard, with Vietnamese officials complaining its vessels were repeatedly rammed. On the same day, Philippine police apprehended Chinese fishing vessels loaded with hundreds of sea turtles in disputed waters.

About 80 Chinese vessels moved into an area near the disputed Paracel Islands, where Hanoi has sought to prevent China from deploying a massive oil rig, said Rear Adm. Ngo Ngoc Thu, vice commander of the Vietnamese coast guard. He said the flotilla included seven military ships and that it was supported by aircraft. He said the situation, which started brewing over the weekend, was “very tense” and said six Vietnamese officers had been injured in the standoff.

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US and China War Of Words Erupts

US and China war of words erupts over the recent tensions between Beijing and its neighbors about disputed territory in the South China Sea

Beijing claims a U-shaped swathe of the South China Sea that covers areas other South East Asian nations say are their territory.

“John Kerry said China’s introduction of an oil rig and numerous government vessels in waters disputed with Vietnam was provocative,”

US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, referring to a telephone call between the US secretary of state and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, according to South China Morning Post report.

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South China Sea tensions rise after collision

Territorial disputes between Hanoi and Beijing have led to public anger [File photo: Reuters]
Vietnam has accused China of attacking its ships in the South China Sea, waters that have become a source of friction between the regional giant and its neighbours.

The Foreign Ministry in Hanoi said on Wednesday that the collisions caused considerable damage to the Vietnamese ships, Reuters news agency reported.

"On May 4, Chinese ships intentionally rammed two Vietnamese Sea Guard vessels," said Tran Duy Hai, a Foreign Ministry official.

related:
Should China be 'contained'?
Ship attempts to ease South China Sea tension
China and Vietnam to ease maritime tensions

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Chinese and Vietnamese ships collide, Philippines seizes vessel
An aerial view shows the Pagasa (Hope) Island, part of the disputed Spratly group of islands, in the South China Sea located off the coast of western Philippines. (Reuters Photo)

China's relations with Vietnam and Philippines came under severe strain on Wednesday after a mid-sea collision between ships and seizure of a Chinese vessel near disputed islands off the Philippine coast.

Vietnam's naval ships and Chinese vessels collided in the South China Sea after a Chinese attempt to establish an oil rig in an area claimed by both countries, according to Vietnamese officials. The Vietnamese navy intervened to prevent it.

Vietnamese officials claimed Chinese ships intentionally rammed their vessels and used water cannons at the country's naval men. This is the first time China has tried to establish an oil rig and start drilling in the disputed area only 193km from Vietnam's coast.

related:
Will defend every inch of territory, China warns neighbours
Growing concern with China's behavior at sea: US diplomat
US faces Chinese ire over disputed isles
China’s continued policy of aggrandizement

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U.S. says concerned about China-Vietnam incident

Tensions are brewing in the South China Sea where Beijing has demanded the Philippines release a Chinese fishing boat and its crew and Vietnam claimed a Chinese vessel intentionally rammed two of its ships

The United States said on Wednesday it was concerned about dangerous conduct and intimidation in the South China Sea after reports of a Chinese vessel ramming Vietnamese ships. It called for restraint on all sides.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki reiterated the U.S. view that China's deployment of an oil rig in a disputed part of the South China was "provocative and unhelpful" to security in the region.

"We are strongly concerned about dangerous conduct and intimidation by vessels in the disputed area," she told a regular news briefing.

related: South China Sea tensions rise as Vietnam says China rammed ships

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China condemns Vietnamese 'harassment' of ship in disputed waters

China has warned Vietnam not to disturb activities of Chinese companies operating near disputed islands in the South China Sea, after Hanoi condemned as illegal the movement of a giant Chinese oil rig into what it says is its territorial water.

The United States on Tuesday sharply criticized the movement of the deep sea oil rig, calling it "provocative and unhelpful to the maintenance of peace and stability in the region".

The relocation of the oil rig by China's state-run oil company is the latest show of Beijing's growing assertiveness, which is raising alarm among smaller countries in the region.



Full Coverage:
Wall Street Journal: Vietnam, Philippines Incidents Raise Sea Tensions
NDTV: Vietnamese Ships Collide with Chinese Ones in Disputed Sea
Reuters: China condemns Vietnamese 'harassment' of ship in disputed waters
Wall Street Journal: Chinese Fishermen Detained in South China Sea
San Jose Mercury: Vietnam: Chinese ships ram vessels near oil rig
Daily News: Vietnam: Chinese ships ram vessels near oil rig
Inquirer: China: Armed men seize 11 fishermen near PH
Wall Street Journal : Vietnam, Philippines Incidents Raise Sea Tensions
New York Times: Vietnam Squares Off With China in Disputed Seas
People's Daily: China urge Philippine to immediately release fishermen and boat
The Nation: Philippines seizes Chinese fishing vessel
The Nation: Philippines seizes Chinese fishing vessel
Wall Street Journal : Vietnam, Philippines Incidents Raise Sea Tensions
Straits Times: 'Armed men' intercept fishermen in South China Sea: Xinhua
People's Daily: China urge against Vietnam interference in territorial exploration
Washington Post: Vietnam: Chinese ships ram vessels near oil rig
People's Daily: Chinese embassy urges Philippines to stop provocative actions
CRIENGLISH: China Urges Philippines to "Instantly" Release Fishermen
CCTV: Philippine police confirm detention of Chinese fishing boat
Fox News : Vietnam says its navy vessel collides with Chinese one close to oil rig
International Bis: Tension In S.China Sea As Vietnam Say China Rammed Ships
WantChinaTimes: China shoos Vietnam away from Paracel islands
WSJ: Confrontations Raise Stakes in South China Sea
Aljazeera:Philippines claims South China Sea islands
Aljazeera:Philippines shores up Spratly Islands defence
Aljazeera: China and Philippines in island spat
Aljazeera: US backs Philippines over China tensions
Google News: Realtime Coverage

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China's Behavior in Ship Encounter Irresponsible, Says Hagel


China's behavior in a narrowly averted naval collision in the South China Sea was both "unhelpful" and "irresponsible," U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Thursday, warning against incidents could escalate existing U.S.-Chinese tensions.

"That action by the Chinese, cutting their ship 100 yards out in front of the (USS) Cowpens, was not a responsible action. It was unhelpful; it was irresponsible," Hagel told reporters at the Pentagon.

China on Wednesday acknowledged an encounter in early December between a Chinese naval vessel and the U.S. warship in the South China Sea.

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China Says Its Naval Vessel Behaved Properly

China on Wednesday confirmed an incident between a Chinese naval vessel and a U.S. warship in the South China Sea, after Washington said a U.S. guided missile cruiser had avoided a collision with a Chinese warship manoeuvering nearby

Experts have said the near-miss between the USS Cowpens and a Chinese warship operating near China's only aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, was the most significant U.S.-China maritime incident in the disputed South China Sea since 2009.

China's Defence Ministry said the Chinese naval vessel was conducting "normal patrols" when the two vessels "met".

"During the encounter, the Chinese naval vessel properly handled it in accordance with strict protocol," the ministry said in a statement on its website (www.mod.gov.cn).

related:
U.S., Chinese Warships Narrowly Avoid Collision in South China Sea
Kerry Plays Down Tension with China in Maritime Disputes

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Concern Mounts in China's Air-Defense Zone

U.S. Navy jets on the USS George Washington south of Japan on Thursday, in place for annual exercises. Kyodo/Reuters

China responded on Thursday to growing international defiance of its new air-defense zone in the East China Sea both by sending advanced fighter jets to the area and trying to play down any threat of military retaliation—underlining the confusion and escalated tension over the territorial dispute.

The announcement by China's air force that it had sent fighters and an early-warning aircraft to patrol the zone came just a few hours after Japan and South Korea, following the U.S.'s lead, said their military aircraft had flown into the zone without notifying Beijing over the past few days, and would continue to do so.

The U.S. challenged the zone's credibility on Tuesday by sending in two B-52 bombers without informing Chinese authorities, who had warned when they declared the zone on Saturday that such incursions would be met with unspecified "defensive emergency measures."

related:
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China Qualifies Air-Zone Threats
U.S. Sends B-52s on Mission to Challenge Chinese Claims
Japan Pushes Airlines to Ignore China Flight-Plan Rule
Japan Officials Low Key on U.S. B-52 Flight
China Air Claims May Cool Seoul Ties
The A to Z on China's Air Defense Identification Zone
Chinese Bloggers Turn Fire on Beijing Amid U.S. Challenge
Watch This Space: China's New Air Defense Zone
How the North American Air Defense Zone Works
China Aircraft Carrier Group Under Scrutiny


In the East China Sea, a Far Bigger Test of Power Looms

WASHINGTON - In an era when the Obama administration has been focused on new forms of conflict - as countries use cyberweapons and drones to extend their power - the dangerous contest suddenly erupting over a pile of rocks in the East China Sea seems almost a throwback to the Cold War.

Suddenly, naval assets and air patrols are the currency of a shadow conflict between Washington and Beijing that the Obama administration increasingly fears could escalate and that American officials have said could derail their complex plan to manage China’s rise without overtly trying to contain it. As in the Cold War, the immediate territorial dispute seems to be an excuse for a far larger question of who will exercise influence over a vast region.

The result is that, as the Chinese grow more determined to assert their territorial claims over a string of islands once important mainly to fishermen, America’s allies are also pouring military assets into the region — potentially escalating the once obscure dispute into a broader test of power in the Pacific

Related:

Japan gets US support in dispute with China over islands
Japan gets US support in dispute with China over islands
A Japanese plane flies over the disputed islands, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, in the East China Sea in Oct 2011. China declared an air defence zone over the islands last week, escalating tensions. The U.S. pledged support for Japan in the dispute yesterday, and flew two unarmed B-52s over the islands in defiance of China on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Kyodo News/news.yahoo.com)

Though the United States does not take a position on the sovereignty of the islands, it recognizes Japan has administrative control over them and the U.S. is therefore committed to defend Japan in the event of war.

On Tuesday, the United States defied China’s demand that airplanes flying near the disputed islands identify themselves to Chinese authorities by flying two unarmed B-52 bombers over the islands without notifying Beijing.

The Pentagon said the planes had not been observed or contacted by the Chinese. But China claims it had monitored the planes on Tuesday.

related:
PM Shinzo Abe says Japan will stand up to China
China failed to respond to Japan, S.Korea and U.S. military flights
Japan refused U.S. call to spy on China

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Gwynne Dyer: China and Japan playing risky game of chicken
Photo / AP

Since China declared an "Air Defence Identification Zone" (ADIZ) that covers the disputed islands called Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese, the media have been full of predictions of confrontation and crisis. Japan immediately scrambled two F-15 fighters to intercept two Chinese aircraft that approached the islands.

"This announcement by the People's Republic of China will not in any way change how the United States conducts military operations in the region," said US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel, and the US Air Force flew two B-52 bombers from Guam into the ADIZ


A Pentagon spokesman said Washington "continued to follow our normal procedures, which include not filing flight plans, not radioing ahead and not registering our frequencies".


Ma urges talks with China over ADIZ

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday urged the countries voicing concern over China’s new air defense identification zone (ADIZ) over the East China Sea to hold talks with China as soon as possible to restore calm to the region.

“I again solemnly call on related parties to refrain from actions that would elevate tensions in the East China Sea, and to quickly hold bilateral dialogues with Beijing on relevant issues, including the issue of the ADIZ, to restore the East China Sea to its original state as a sea of peace and cooperation,” Ma said.

He made the statement in Taipei at the opening of the International Conference on the 70th Anniversary of the Cairo Declaration. Ma reiterated Taiwan’s sovereignty over the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) — which are covered by China’s ADIZ and are also claimed by Japan, which calls them the Senkakus — and said the air force will continue its missions and training exercises within Taiwan’s own ADIZ



Taiwan wades into East China Sea air defence zone debate

The president of Taiwan has taken tentative steps to voice his government's position in China's Air Defence Identification Zone in a response that has angered members of the opposition legislature.

On Sunday, in his first statement since the imposition of the ADIZ on November 23, President Ma Ying-jeou is reported to have encouraged the affected governments to resolve the issue through peaceful negotiation.

Local newspaper The China Post reports that President Ma emphasised his opposition to the use of military involvement, as well as his wish to restore the harmony previously maintained in the region.

related:
US to continue surveillance flights over East China Sea
Bishop rebuked by China for 'irresponsible' criticism of air zone
US planes fly over disputed East China Sea
Australia expresses concern over China air defence zone
China protests US, Japan criticism of air defence zone
US criticises new China zone, vows to defend Japan
US concern as China creates air defence zone over disputed islands

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S. Korea nears finalization of expanded air defense zone

South Korea has nearly finalized plans for a new air defense zone that includes an ocean research station built on an underwater reef and southern islands, Seoul's officials said Monday.

The latest move comes after China last week declared an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over the East China Sea and demanded all foreign aircraft passing through the zone to identify themselves to Chinese authorities. The area overlaps those of South Korea and Japan and has sharply raised tensions in Northeast Asia.

On Sunday, South Korea's top presidential officials discussed ways to expand its air defense zone to include the country's island of Marado and Hongdo as well as Ieodo Ocean Research Station. The station is built on top of a submerged rock formation within the overlapping exclusive economic zone of South Korea and China.

related: S. Korea to hold talks with US, China, Japan to actively cope with security issues

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Tension As China Expands Military Coast

THE world has truly never been at peace, but these are more trying times for the survival of planet earth. As if in competition for the award of most restless people, the Chinese seem to have added another dimension to the ever elusive global tranquility

To the Chinese, recent advances in industrial technology and healthy economy are not fulfilling enough; it’s time to flex military muscle and contribute a copy to global tension. And who else is better to pick up fight with? Old foes and staunch allies of the mightiest country in the world, the United States of America

November 22, the world was woken up with the news that China has successfully flew a stealth drone for the first time. A drone, called “Sharp Sword” by the media, made a test flight for around 20 minutes in Chengdu, reports said.

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China warplanes in air defence zone

Chinese warplanes have been sent to the controversial air defence identification zone in the East China Sea.

The move follows flights by Japan, South Korea and the US through the area, which was unilaterally declared by China.

The zone includes a groups of islands claimed by China, Japan and Taiwan that have been the source of a long-running dispute between the nations.

related:
China 'monitored' US bombers in new air zone
Japan condemns China radar lock
Disputed islands: China's air defence zone move angers Japan

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China’s Neighbors Test Air Zone Amid Conflicting Signals
The replica of a Chinese made fighter jet is silhouetted against the sun in Beijing. Photograph: AP Photo/Ng Han Guan

Chinese warplanes flew over the country’s new air-defense zone after Japan sent aircraft into the area without warning, as the government in Beijing gave conflicting signals about how strictly it will respond to incursions.

The flights yesterday by Chinese fighter jets were normal patrols, the official Xinhua News Agency said, citing Shen Jinke, an air force spokesman. Japanese Air Self-Defense Force aircraft entered the zone on a regular patrol, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said. He spoke after China said it “hoped” civilian airliners would comply with rules for the zone, a step back from tougher language used when it was set up Nov. 23

The backlash to the zone from Japan, as well as from South Korea and the U.S., has distracted from President Xi Jinping’s agenda two weeks after the Communist Party announced sweeping economic and social reforms. The change in tone from Beijing raised the possibility that the military may not have coordinated its actions with party leaders, a concern that U.S. officials have mentioned in the past.

related:
Japanese Airlines Defy China Demand for Data in Air Zone Japan Tests China’s Resolve With Flights in Air Zone U.S. to Continue Flights in Defense Zone Claimed by China

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China military sends air patrols through new defense zone - Xinhua

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - China's military sent several fighter jets and an early warning aircraft on patrol into disputed air space over the East China Sea on Thursday, the Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported, quoting a spokesman for the People's Liberation Army Air Force.

The move raises the stakes in a standoff with the United States, Japan and South Korea over the zone. Japan and South Korea sent their own military aircraft through the air space on Thursday.

The Chinese patrol mission was "a defensive measure and in line with international common practices," said Shen Jinke, a spokesman for China's air force, in the Xinhua article.

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Beijing’s aircraft carrier heads for South China Sea
China’s vessels frequently patrol near the disputed East China Sea islands known as Senkaku in Tokyo, which controls them, and in China as Diaoyu. ― Reuters pic

BEIJING, Nov 26 ― China’s first aircraft carrier left today on a training mission to the South China Sea, escorted by missile destroyers and frigates, state media said.

The newly-commissioned Liaoning left its home port of Qingdao accompanied by two missile destroyers, the Shenyang and Shijiazhuang, and two missile frigates, the Yantai and Weifang, the official Xinhua news agency said.

The deployment comes amid heightened tensions between China and its neighbours over disputed waters, with Beijing declaring air defence rights over islands controlled by Japan at the weekend, provoking a furious international reaction.

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China creates air defence zone over Japan-controlled islands
A Chinese military plane Y-8 airborne early warning plane flies through airspace between Okinawa prefecture’s main island and the smaller Miyako island in southern Japan, out over the Pacific, in this handout photo taken on October 27, 2013 by the Japan Air Self-Defence Force and released by the Joint Staff Office of the Defense Ministry of Japan. ― Reuters pic

BEIJING, Nov 23 ― Beijing today announced it was setting up an “air defence identification zone” over an area that includes islands controlled by Japan but claimed by China, in a move that could inflame the bitter territorial row.

Along with the creation of the zone in the East China Sea, the defence ministry released a set of aircraft identification rules that must be followed by all planes entering the area, under penalty of intervention by the military.

Aircraft are expected to provide their flight plan, clearly mark their nationality, and maintain two-way radio communication allowing them to “respond in a timely and accurate manner to the identification inquiries” from Chinese authorities.

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The A to Z on China’s Air Defense Identification Zone

Computer screens display a map showing the outline of China’s new air defense zone in the East China Sea on the website of the Chinese Ministry of Defense.Associated Press

AIRSPACE – Under international law, a country’s sovereign airspace extends to the outer limits of its territorial waters, 12 nautical miles from its coastline. Most countries require all foreign military aircraft to obtain permission to enter their airspace and reserve the right to take military action, including shooting them down, if they do not. China and Japan both claim the disputed East China Sea islands known as the Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China as part of their territory. They also claim sovereign airspace above them and over the waters extending 12 nautical miles around them.

EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE (EEZ) – According to the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, each signatory state can claim an EEZ that gives it special rights to exploit marine resources up to 200 nautical miles from its coastline. When EEZs overlap, signatory states are supposed to negotiate an agreed boundary. Most countries allow freedom of passage for foreign vessels through their EEZ. However, some countries disagree on whether non-aggressive foreign military operations – such as reconnaissance patrols — should be allowed in their EEZ. The U.S. says yes; China says no. China often intercepts and tracks foreign military planes over its EEZ, but usually does not try to repel them or force them to land.

AIR DEFENSE IDENTIFICATION ZONE (ADIZ) – An ADIZ has no basis in international law and is not overseen by any international organization. So definitions and rules vary between different countries. Typically such zones extend well beyond a country’s airspace to give its military time to respond to potentially hostile incoming aircraft. Several countries have declared them unilaterally, including the U.S. and Japan. Many of those countries require foreign military aircraft to identify themselves and their flight plans on entering their ADIZ. They will often intercept and escort foreign military aircraft in their ADIZ but will usually not repel them or force them to land unless they consider them a threat. The U.S. says it only applies ADIZ procedures to foreign aircraft intending to enter its airspace. China’s ADIZ is unusual in that it overlaps with Japan’s, South Korea’s and Taiwan’s and covers disputed territory.

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China creates air defence zone over Japan-controlled islands

China's defence ministry said that it was setting up the zone to "guard against potential air threats" in a move likely to heighten tensions in a bitter territorial row between the two countries.

Along with the creation of the zone in the East China Sea, the defence ministry released a set of aircraft identification rules that must be followed by all planes entering the area, under penalty of intervention by the military

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US B-52 bombers challenge disputed China air zone

The islands, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, are a source of rising tension between the two nations. Photo credit: Global Times

The US has flown two B-52 bombers over disputed islands in the East China Sea in defiance of new Chinese air defence rules, officials say.

China set up its "air defence identification zone" on Saturday insisting that aircraft obey its rules or face "emergency defensive measures".

A Pentagon spokesman said the planes had followed "normal procedures".

related:
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Why China air zone raises risk
Risk of China move
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Chinese carrier to confront US
US B-52 bombers challenge disputed China air zone

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US is Encircling China with Fighter Jets and Stealth Bombers
US is Encircling China with Fighter Jets and Stealth Bombers
Washington is still considering selling submarines to Taiwan This is likely to make China none too happy

At a Washington, DC breakfast on Monday, Air Force Gen. Herb Carlisle, the USAF’s top commander in the Pacific, basically stated that the U.S. plans to encircle China with its most capable aircraft over the next few years. Over at Breaking Defense, Colin Clark reports that Carlisle said that the first Air Force F-35’s will be deployed to the Pacific, and are likely to be stationed at bases in Misawa, Japan; Kadena, Japan; Osan Air Base, Korea; and Kunsan Air Base, Korea. Singapore will also purchase the F-35s. Clark also quotes the general as saying the USAF will send "fighters, tankers, and at some point in the future, maybe bombers on a rotational basis," to a base in Darwin, Australia.

Meanwhile, John Reed of Foreign Policy reports that Carlisle also said (in Reed’s words) that the USAF will also be, “sending jets to Changi East air base in Singapore, Korat air base in Thailand, a site in India, and possibly bases at Kubi Point and Puerto Princesa in the Philippines and airfields in Indonesia and Malaysia.” As Reed sums it up, “This means the Air Force will sen[d] large numbers of F-22 Raptors, F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, and B-2 stealth bombers to the region.”

In other news likely to thrill China, in response to a letter from U.S. Representative Robert Andrews (D-NJ), the Defense Department has confirmed it is still considering a request by Taiwan for a design and feasibility study of it potentially purchasing diesel submarines. “The Department of Defense will continue to consider carefully any Taiwan requests for defense articles and services,” Under Secretary of Defense for Policy James Miller said in a response to the letter, according to Taipei Times

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China says military "monitored" US B-52 flights in air zone
BEIJING: China "monitored" US B-52 bomber flights in its newly-declared air defence identification zone, the defence ministry said Wednesday, in an assertion of its authority that stopped short of threatening direct action.

The flight of the giant, long-range Stratofortress planes was a clear warning that Washington would push back against what it considers an aggressive stance by Beijing in the region.

The Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea includes Japan-administered islands at the heart of a tense dispute between the two neighbours. Beijing's controversial demand that aircraft submit flight plans when traversing it triggered a storm of diplomatic protest. The Pentagon said it did not comply with the Chinese rules.

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China 'monitored' US bombers in new air zone
File photo: A Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force surveillance plane flies around the disputed islands in the East China Sea, 13 October 2011
The air zone covers a group of disputed islands controlled by Japan

China monitored the flight of two US bombers that flew across its newly-declared "air defence identification zone", its defence ministry said.

The B-52 planes flew over disputed islands in the East China Sea on Tuesday without announcing themselves, defying new Chinese air defence rules.

Japan and the US are strongly opposed to the air zone declared by China. They have accused China of unilaterally attempting to alter the status quo and escalate regional tensions

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Defying China, US flies two B-52 bombers into East China Sea zone
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US defies China's fly zone with B-52
China 'monitored' US flights over disputed islands in East China Sea
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B-52s fly over disputed islands Watch
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US defies new China air zone rules Watch
Q&A: China-Japan islands row

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Japanese airlines stop obeying China's air zone rules

TOKYO: Japanese airlines said Wednesday they had stopped following rules set by China when it unilaterally declared the right to manage the skies over the East China Sea.

The reversal comes after pressure from the Japanese government, which insisted China's announcement was invalid, and after governments around the world lined up alongside Tokyo

Japan's two major airlines had previously said they had been submitting flight plans to Chinese authorities for any plane that was due to pass through the area, a key demand Beijing set out on Saturday when it said it had established an Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ)

US challenges China's fly zone with B-52 flight
Japan govt gets support on China fly zone but airlines comply
Japanese airlines say will obey China's air zone rules
China says military "monitored" US B-52 flights in air zone
Japan reportedly mulls expanding air zone
US challenges China's fly zone with B-52 flight

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Japan warns of 'unpredictable events' over China's new air zone
Seoul

Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said his country was considering making stronger protests "at a higher level" after China announced on Saturday it was setting up the zone over an area that includes Tokyo-controlled islands claimed by Beijing.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Saturday they were "deeply concerned" at China's move and were committed to defending Japan

related:
Japan protests new China air defence zone
US criticises new China air defence zone
Japan politician urges China to prevent "touch-and-go" situation

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Japan politician urges China to prevent "touch-and-go" situation

TOKYO: A senior Japanese politician urged China Sunday to help prevent a "touch-and-go situation" following Beijing's declaration of an air defence zone over the East China Sea including disputed islands controlled by Tokyo.

In a move that Japan branded as "very dangerous," China said on Saturday it was setting up the "air defence identification zone" over the islands to guard against "potential air threats". Former Japanese foreign minister Masahiko Komura, speaking as deputy head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, said Tokyo should "keep on doing what it has been doing in a straightforward manner" apart from making protests to Beijing.

"At the same time, defence officials of the two countries must keep in close communication with each other in order to prevent a touch-and-go situation from arising under any circumstances," Komura said on public broadcaster NHK

related:
China creates air defence zone over Japan-controlled islands
Japan protests new China air defence zone
US criticises new China air defence zone
Beijing's aircraft carrier heads for South China Sea

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China's aerial ambitions deepen territorial tensions
Map of east china sea and declared air defence zone
China's demarcation of its expanded air defence identification zone overlaps with those of South Korea and Japan

Territorial disputes are escalating in East Asia with China stepping up its push for maritime interests despite strong protests from its neighbours and dampening the mood for regional cooperation for stability.

China's demarcation last week of its expanded air defence identification zone overlapped with those of South Korea and Japan. The two countries berated Beijing for having drawn the zone without any consultation.

Beijing's air demarcation comes as Tokyo and Washington have pushed for a stronger alliance amid the deepening Sino-Japanese conflict over a chain of islands in the East China Sea ― called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China


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Japan govt gets support on China fly zone but airlines comply

Its affiliate Peach Aviation said it was doing the same "for now".

related:
China ships spotted close to Japan-controlled islands
China jeopardising peace in island row, says Japan
Japan putting missiles on Pacific gateway islands

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US backs Japan as China tensions soar on air zone

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S Korea asserts control inside China's new defence zone
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Beijing's aircraft carrier heads for South China Sea

Japan sees growing threats from China

TOKYO (Nikkei) -- Japan has traditionally focused on ensuring the quality of its defense forces, but will now seek more tangible, quantitative increases in personnel and equipment to counter the threats posed by China and North Korea

On Monday, a government panel on national security and military capabilities began full discussions on new national defense guidelines, which will be finalized by year-end.

The existing document, drawn up in 2010, ended a policy of installing defense capabilities across the nation and instead placed an emphasis on mobility to counter the Chinese Navy, North Korea's ballistic missiles, and terrorism threats.

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China envisions smaller U.S. role in world affairs

Yan Xuetong, dean of the Institute of Modern International Relations at Tsinghua University, speaks in Beijing Oct. 9

DALIAN – After U.S. President Barack Obama cancelled his trip to Asia, an Asian diplomat in Beijing quipped: "There's just one problem with the U.S. 'pivot-to-Asia' strategy.The U.S. is not part of it."

Due to its divided Congress, the world's sole superpower is struggling to make decisions.

As the era of a single world power looks to be coming to an end, voices in China have begun calling for a new global order, one less dominated by the U.S. What kind of world does China foresee?

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US sending military jets to Changi East air base in Singapore - report
At a Washington, DC breakfast on Monday, Air Force Gen. Herb Carlisle, the USAF’s top commander in the Pacific, basically stated that the U.S. plans to encircle China with its most capable aircraft over the next few years.

Over at Breaking Defense, Colin Clark reports that Carlisle said that the first Air Force F-35’s will be deployed to the Pacific, and are likely to be stationed at bases in Misawa, Japan; Kadena, Japan; Osan Air Base, Korea; and Kunsan Air Base, Korea. Singapore will also purchase the F-35s. Clark also quotes the general as saying the USAF will send "fighters, tankers, and at some point in the future, maybe bombers on a rotational basis," to a base in Darwin, Australia.

Meanwhile, John Reed of Foreign Policy reports that Carlisle also said (in Reed’s words) that the USAF will also be, “sending jets to Changi East air base in Singapore, Korat air base in Thailand, a site in India, and possibly bases at Kubi Point and Puerto Princesa in the Philippines and airfields in Indonesia and Malaysia.” As Reed sums it up, “This means the Air Force will sen[d] large numbers of F-22 Raptors, F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, and B-2 stealth bombers to the region."


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China In A Bind

When China declared a new airspace defense zone that goes over disputed territories they claimed against several other nations. The most famous dispute are the islands known as the Diaoyu Islands in China which is also claimed, and controlled by, Japan but the new zone by China also go over or come very close to territories claimed by South Korea, Vietnam and the Philippines.

So it's comes as no surprise to me when America, strong ally of Japan, South Korea and the Philippines, decide to sent a strong message to China. Two unarmed U.S. B-52 bombers on a "training mission" flew over disputed islands in the East China Sea without informing Beijing. Basically telling the Chinese the China's declaration of the new airspace defense zone is not worth the paper it is printed on.

This should come as no surprise. Not only is America a strong ally of Japan, China has no legal leg to stand on in their claim on Diaoyu. After World War 2, America was looking to give back the island and asked for nations to stake their claim on the island. Japan did, China did not. Now some people may argue Mao Zedong and Chiang Kai-shek were too busy fighting against each other in a civil war to bother about making a claim on some islands in the middle of the East China Sea but the fact remains that they did not. Of course back then no one knew there were oil and gas beneath the islands so no one cared.

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Hypocrisy of the American Empire

‘The United States is deeply concerned about China's announcement that they've established an "East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone." This unilateral action constitutes an attempt to change the status quo in the East China Sea. Escalatory action will only increase tensions in the region and create risks of an incident.’ 

This message is being reported in practically every English media as if China is doing something wrong. The setting up of an ADIZ is part and parcel of a country defending its air space. China did not do so earlier, and could not do so as it did not have the capability to do so then. Now that China has all the military resources to establish its ADIZ, what is wrong with that? The Japanese has established its ADIZ that extends to the coast of China and encroached into Chinese air space. They have been harassing Chinese aircraft that flew into the Japanese declared ADIZ. The acts were provocative and been conducted daily, several times a day. Why didn’t the Americans call the Japanese acts destabilizing? Why didn’t the Americans raise alarms when Japan provoked China by its farce sales of Diaoyu Islands and subsequently nationalized it against China’s protest?

And what status is the Americans talking about that must be maintained? A position that the Japanese and the Americans imposed on a China when China was weak and unable to protest, with the Japanese more or less delineated the whole area as Japanese air and sea space, including Diaoyu Islands?

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Getting Senkaku History Right
Getting Senkaku History Right
Japanese Coast Guard of the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands Some of the claims to sovereignty over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands don’t hold up well under scrutiny, argues Tadashi Ikeda

East Asia this year has been marked by rising tensions over the Senkaku Islands (known in China as the Diaoyu Islands). As has been widely reported, China has dispatched government patrol and surveillance ships to intrude into Japan’s territorial waters off the islands, which lie in the East China Sea. Meanwhile, Beijing’s rhetoric has been more heated.

In April, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson appeared to indicate that the Chinese government regarded the Senkaku Island issue as a core interest for China. This was the first government use of a term normally reserved for highly sensitive Chinese political concerns such as Taiwan, Tibet and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. And in recent days, China has made the very provocative decision to establish an air defense zone that encompasses the Senkaku skies.

With concerns rising that the situation could spiral out of control, it seems worth reviewing the facts regarding the sovereignty of the Senkaku and the options available for a sensible resolution to the issue



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China alarmed by Clinton’s comments on West Philippine Sea


China has expressed concern about remarks made by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who said that Beijing’s claim in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) exceeded what was permitted by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos).

In a report posted Monday on its website, the Chinese Embassy in Makati City quoted Hong Lei, spokesperson of the Chinese foreign ministry, as saying that China had raised concerns about Clinton’s opinion when other countries had chosen to adopt a hands-off policy on the issue. “On the issue of the South China Sea, non claimant (Association of South East Asian Nations) countries and countries outside the region have adopted a position of not getting involved in territorial disputes,” Hong said.

“On this important prerequisite and foundation, the Chinese side has consistently committed to safeguarding peace and stability in the South China Sea, region by means, such as negotiating and signing with Asean countries the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea in parallel with our efforts to pursue dispute settlement through negotiations with countries directly concerned,” she said.

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US ‘pivot’ may stir Asian sensitivities


As the United States moves to bolster its military position in Asia, it faces severe budget cuts from Congress, an increasingly powerful rival in China and a hornet’s nest of regional political sensitivities.

The shift in US policy puts Asia and the Pacific front-and-center of its strategic priorities and is driven by concerns that China has raced ahead in the world’s most economically dynamic region while the United States was tied up fighting its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But in a region rife with disputes and increasingly beholden to China’s economic engine, the Pentagon is being careful its “pivot to the Pacific” doesn’t create too many waves.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who is spearheading the US effort to sell the new strategy in Asia, told regional defense leaders at a major security conference in Singapore that it is only natural for the Asia-Pacific region to be in the spotlight because it is home to some of the world’s biggest populations and militaries.

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Uneasy US-China relationship overshadows amicable summit

Compared to previous years, when the verbal sparring in the cavernous hall of the Shangri-La Hotel's Island Ballroom was heated, all sides played nice this year.

Speaking to delegates at the Shangri-La Dialogue on Saturday, United States Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta stretched out an olive branch to China, saying Washington would do everything in its power to keep the world's most important relationship on an even keel, even as the US military 'pivots' to Asia.

A senior People's Liberation Army officer welcomed Mr Panetta's speech and asked how the two countries could improve their interactions.

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US to deploy LCS in Singapore in 2013

The United States Navy will deploy its first littoral combat ship (LCS) in Singapore from the second quarter of 2013, Singapore's Ministry of Defense said on Saturday.

Singapore's Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen conveyed the country's in-principle approval for the US request to deploy up to four LCS in a meeting with his US counterpart Leon Panetta, a joint statement said. The four ships will be deployed in the city state "on a rotational basis," which means there could be up to four LCS in Singapore at any point of time, the Ministry of Defense said.

It said the navies of the two countries are still working on details and arrangements of the deployment. The LCS is a type of relatively small surface vessel intended for operations in the littoral zone where it is less desirable to deploy larger warships. With a flight deck and a hangar, the LCS is envisioned to be a networked, agile, stealthy surface combatant.

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United States Navy to move 60% of warships to Asia

Redeployment by 2020 'a clear-cut message on its large footprint in region'. The United States will move the bulk of its warships to this part of the world, as it grapples with China's rising military power and a tightening defence budget.

US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said the US Navy will reposition 60 per cent of its warships in Asia by 2020, as part of its new military strategy that focuses on Asia.

This is up from the current 50 per cent of its fleet that is in this region, including six aircraft carriers, destroyers, combat ships and submarines. The other half of the fleet is based in the Atlantic.

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Canada seeks Singapore hub to support U.S. military Asia 'pivot' toward China
Defence Minister Peter MacKay revealed the plan in an exclusive interview Friday with The Canadian Press from Singapore, where he was attending a major security conference.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is expected to give more details of the Pentagon's renewed military focus on Asia during a major speech in Singapore on Saturday at the Shangri-La Dialogue. The Pentagon's Asia tilt comes in response to China's rising military spending. "This entire concept — the buzzword is the pivot to the Pacific — it's a recognition of the regional power dynamics here that do affect us with China expanding and modernizing their military capabilities," said MacKay.

To that end, MacKay said Canada is looking at a cost-effective way of increasing its military footprint in the region. MacKay said a military hub in Singapore would be similar to the arrangements it has reached with Kuwait and Jamaica, to give it military footholds in the Middle East and the Caribbean.

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Panetta to visit former US base in Vietnam
Panetta to visit former US base in Vietnam

Panetta is the most high-ranking US official to visit Cam Ranh Bay since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975

The two countries signed a memorandum on defence cooperation last year and Panetta planned to discuss how to carry out the agreement during his two-day visit, officials said. "We've had a great trajectory with Vietnam over a number of years," said a senior US defence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"Seventeen years into normalisation of relations, we really have a robust relationship with the Vietnamese government as a whole and our mil-to-mil (military) relationship is really healthy as well," the official said. Cam Ranh Bay airfield, one of three main hubs used by US forces in the war, once hosted squadrons of fighter jets, cargo planes and troops at the height of the Vietnam conflict.


The Vietnamese handed over the air base and naval port to the Soviet Union after the war, with Moscow deploying fighter jets, nuclear submarines and a spy station during the Cold War.

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Quiet China-India power rivalry could get ugly


As the world moves into the second decade of the 21st century, a new power rivalry is taking shape between India and China, Asia’s two behemoths in terms of territory, population and richness of civilization. India’s recent successful launch of a long-range missile able to hit Beijing and Shanghai with nuclear weapons is the latest sign of this development.

This is a rivalry borne completely of high-tech geopolitics, creating a core dichotomy between two powers whose own geographical expansion patterns throughout history have rarely overlapped or interacted with each other. Despite the limited war fought between the two countries on their Himalayan border 50 years ago, this competition has relatively little long-standing historical or ethnic animosity behind it.

The signal geographical fact about Indians and Chinese is that the impassable wall of the Himalayas separates them. Buddhism spread in varying forms from India, via Sri Lanka and Myanmar, to Yunnan in southern China in the third century BC, but this kind of profound cultural interaction was the exception more than the rule.

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Full Coverage:
TIME: China and Japan May Not Like Each Other, but They Need Each Other
WantChinaTimes: China could set up ADIZ over South China Sea: Taiwan MND
The Sunday Dispatch: SUPERPOWER SPAT China makes case for defense zone
Chicago Tribune: Japan: no change to airlines' notification policy when flying in ADIZ
Free Press Journal: US airlines complying with China's new 'ADIZ' demands
Gant Daily: US carriers flying over China air defense zone told to file flight plan
New York Times: In the East China Sea, a Far Bigger Test of Power Looms
Yonhap News: S. Korea nears finalization of expanded air defense zone
The Conversation: China's ADIZ & Australia's commitment to America's Asian order
The Guardian Nigeria: Carriers Urged To Comply With Beijing Air Zone Rules
USA TODAY: China dispute with Japan heightens tension: Opinionline
ABC Online: Taiwan wades into East China Sea air defence zone debate
The Guardian Nigeria: Tension As China Expands Military Coast
Bangkok Post: Biden heads to Asia amid tensions over China air zone
Indian Express: China, Japan and America face-off
Business Times: US airlines give China flight plans for defence zone
South China Morning Post: China and US must work together to ease zone tensions
New Zealand Herald: Gwynne Dyer: China and Japan playing risky game of chicken
CNN: US airlines comply with China's demand for notice of flights through zone
Taipei Times: Ma urges talks with China over ADIZ
Inquirer.net: Reckless dragon
Sydney Morning Herald: Japan asks the world air regulator to act over China's ADIZ
Forbes: Amid Rising Tensions, Have China And Japan Learned Lessons
MarketWatch: Japan questions China's ability to police air zone
Asahi Shimbun: Japan baffled by US telling airlines to respect new Chinese air zone
Zee News: Japan PM to discuss China air zone with Biden
Financial Times: Spat over air space lost on ordinary Chinese
Economic Times: Japan PM to discuss China air defence zone with US VP Joe Biden
Financial Times: Japan to take up spat over China air zone with US

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Territorial Disputes: Malignant and Benign

Some things are worth fighting for. What about a few desert islands occupied mainly by birds, goats and moles? China and Japan seem to think so, the rest of the world is alarmed and a look at other territorial disputes around the globe shows that stranger things have happened. There are about 60 such conflicts simmering worldwide. Most will bubble along, unresolved but harmless, 400 years after the Peace of Westphalia established the notion of national sovereignty. Others are more dangerous.

The Situation - China claims more than 80 percent of the South China Sea, where it has constructed artificial islands and built up its military presence. Five others — Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan — claim parts of the same maritime area, a thriving fishing zone through which more than $5 trillion of trade passes each year. In a case brought by the Philippines, an international tribunal in The Hague ruled against China in July, saying it had no historic rights to the resources within a dashed line drawn on a 1940s map that had formed the basis of its claims. While the court said the ruling was binding, China said the tribunal has no jurisdiction. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte called for restraint and in October held talks with China on contested territory.

The U.S., the longtime guarantor of freedom of navigation in the waters, has stepped up support for Southeast Asian maritime law enforcement agencies and Indonesia has accused Chinese fishing boats of increasingly encroaching into its waters. One thousand miles to the northeast, in the East China Sea, China is in dispute with Japan over century-old claims to a separate set of islands — called Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese — that have been administered by Japan since 1972. U.S. President Barack Obama in 2014 said a U.S.-Japan security treaty applies to the islands, meaning the U.S. military could act if Japanese waters were violated. Meantime, Donald Trump's election as U.S. president adds a new element of uncertainty. Trump has accused the Chinese of building a military fortress in the South China Sea and of doing so “at will because they have no respect for our president and they have no respect for our country.” China is also locked in a disagreement with India over the two countries’ land border.

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