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The PJ Tatler

Rick Moran


November 30, 2013 - 8:57 am

The Chinese military announced that they had scrambled fighter jets in their recently declared “air defense zone” over some disputed islands in the East China Sea in order to follow some US planes flying into the zone. The action comes on the heels of a US training mission that saw 2 B-52′s fly through the zone, ignoring China’s requirement that all planes flying through the area must file a flight plan with the military.

The US and Japan do not recognize the air defense zone as legitimate.


The ministry of defence announced the move, which is the first time China is known to have sent military aircraft into the zone alongside foreign flights, stepping up its response to the challenge after its unilateral establishment of the zone. It previously said it had monitored US, Japanese and South Korean aircraft and had flown routine patrols in the area on Thursday.

The ministry’s statement said two US reconnaissance aircraft and 10 Japanese early warning, reconnaissance and fighter planes had entered the zone.

The airforce “monitored throughout the entire flights, made timely identification and ascertained the types”, defence ministry spokesman Shen Jinke told the official China News Service.

The Pentagon has yet to respond to the statement. Japanese officials declined to confirm details of any flights, saying that routine missions were continuing.

Late on Friday the US state department advised American commercial airlines to notify Chinese authorities of flight plans over the East China Sea. But a US administration official said that did not mean Washington accepted Beijing’s jurisdiction, the Reuters news agency reported.

“The US government generally expects that US carriers operating internationally will operate consistent with Notams [Notices to Airmen] issued by foreign countries,” the state department said in a statement.

“Our expectation of operations by US carriers consistent with Notams does not indicate US government acceptance of China’s requirements.”

The developments came as South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said officials were discussing how to expand its own air zone.

In Taiwan, legislators issued an unusual joint statement chiding Ma Ying-jeou’s government for its tempered response to China’s announcement of the zone and urging it to lodge a tough protest with Beijing. The government later said it would convey its “stern position”.

Earlier the European Union’s foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton expressed its concern that the zone had contributed to tensions in the region, saying that the EU called on all sides to exercise caution and restraint.

What is China’s gambit? They’ve spent a lot of money over the last 10 years on their military — especially their navy. It could be they are flexing their muscle a bit while testing US resolve in the region.

This is certainly a more aggressive move by China than we’ve seen previously. While almost certainly not trying to start a war, it reflects the notion that China is an economic super power and that perhaps they should start acting like one militarily as well.

Rick Moran is PJ Media's Chicago editor and Blog editor at The American Thinker. He is also host of the"RINO Hour of Power" on Blog Talk Radio. His own blog is Right Wing Nut House.

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Top Rated Comments   
Maybe China's new found attitude is based on its belief that Obama is weak and will do little more than make empty gestures. How does one draw red lines in the ocean?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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The Chinese military is nowhere near capable enough to take on the US Navy over this bogus territorial claim.

Claiming territory means having boots on the ground.

Anything they have that could deliver those boots to the disputed islands is a sitting duck for the navies of at least 2, and maybe 3, different nations with competing interests in the region.

My suspicion is Chinese leaders are pushing to see what they can get away with, with the idea that other nations will not risk war and will back down - thereby giving them what they want (legitimized territorial claims) without them having to actually fire a shot.

They could also be estimating that Obama will blink and see him as a weak leader.

Unfortunately, they are riding a beast that could be difficult to rein in should things go too far. That beast is Chinese nationalism on the part of the average Chinese citizen.

Fed a steady diet of adoration by a variety of economists all over the world, they may believe their own propaganda that their economy could take a major war without collapsing.

Fed a steady diet of excessive claims regarding the expertise and equipment of the Chinese military, and the average citizen could actually believe they have a shot at defeating a 1st world power in a military confrontation staged on 1st world military terms.

That average citizen, by the way, also being what composes their military.

Supporting a guerrilla warfare in the jungles of Vietnam 40 years ago is one thing, going toe to toe with 1, 2 or even 3 US carrier task forces supported by US Air Force assets based all around the globe - plus a likely coalition of Asian nations who have a vested interest in seeing China taken down a few notches and would thus likely support US involvement with use of their own military bases and maybe even military assets (ships, planes, troops, etc.) - is something else entirely.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This all about "Face".

The Chinese leadership, just like our Obama, have a great big chip on their collective [!] shoulders. It's "Yes! We! Can!"
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Maybe China's new found attitude is based on its belief that Obama is weak and will do little more than make empty gestures. How does one draw red lines in the ocean?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"How does one draw red lines in the ocean?"

With Obama, it's the same way he draws them on land....with disappearing ink!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The first time, our B52's went unmolested.

The second time, they scrambled ...apparently, with two you get lag roll.
1 year ago
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