Chinese Fighter  Flying 50 Km from Island Dispute

Chinese military fighter jets had approached the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea with Japan since the end of May and one of the aircraft was only at a distance of 50 kilometers of airspace that is claimed as territorial Japan. Beijing claims the uninhabited island and referred to them as the Diaoyu Island.

Chinese military fighter jets have approached the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea since late May and one of them flew in an area within 50 kilometers of Japan’s territorial airspace around the islets, a Japanese government source said Saturday.

Tokyo scrambled Air Self-Defense Force fighter jets against the Chinese aircraft, the source said, adding it is “abnormal” for Chinese aircraft to approach to such a close distance from Japan’s territorial airspace.

Chinese military airplanes have neared the islets more than three times since late May, the source said.

During the April to June period, Japan scrambled ASDF fighter jets against Chinese aircraft approaching its airspace a record 199 times, breaking the previous record of 198 set over the preceding three months, the Japanese Defense Ministry said.

senkaku Diaoyu

Japan’s defense white paper released by the ministry earlier this month criticized China’s activities in the sea as “high-handed” unilateral action attempting to alter the status quo by force.

Kunio Orita, a former head of the ASDF Air Support Command, published a report online in late June, saying an ASDF plane, which had been scrambled, left the area while employing a countermeasure to avoid a possible missile attack. The Defense Ministry has denied the report.

As for Beijing’s maritime activities, Tokyo has voiced concern over Chinese naval vessels’ recent sailing in and around Japanese territorial waters in the East China Sea, including in a contiguous zone surrounding the Senkakus. Beijing claims the uninhabited islets and calls them Diaoyu.

The United States has also expressed opposition to any attempt to undermine Japan’s administration of the islands, in reference to continued intrusions by Chinese government ships into Japanese waters around the islets despite repeated protests by Tokyo.




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