|Chinese Air Defense Zone|
The creation of an "Air Defense Identification Zone" by China comes amid increasing tensions between Beijing and Tokyo over competing claims to disputed islands in the sea, which are believed to be situated near large reserves of natural resources.
China's announcement Saturday of the zone, which it described as an early-warning system for self-defense, drew a swift response from the United States, Japan's closest military ally.
Washington warned that the latest Chinese move creates the risk of potentially dangerous miscalculations in the sensitive region, where Chinese and Japanese ships and planes have already been involved in tense encounters.
"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," U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said.
"We have urged China to exercise caution and restraint, and we are consulting with Japan and other affected parties throughout the region," Kerry said.
But Chinese officials dismissed the U.S. comments as unjustified interference.
Beijing demands that the United States respect Chinese national security, stop making "irresponsible remarks" about the air defense identification zone and make "concrete efforts" for peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, China said.
The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it had lodged a representation with U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke asking the United States "to correct its mistakes immediately."
I have been warning for years that China would grow more aggressive, and more militant, about asserting it’s claims to sovereignty over the East and South China Seas. This “Air Defense Zone” is just one more step in that direction.
I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury. -Groucho Marx
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