U.S. Bombers Ignore China’s Expanded No-Fly Zone
The United States greeted China’s new claim to an expanded no-fly zone in the East China Sea by flying two B-52 bombers through the area. Though the U.S. claimed the flights were part of routine training and had nothing to do with recent Chinese declarations, it appears that the western superpower will not be recognizing the new territorial claim any time soon. The bombers, which were unarmed, spent less than an hour in the new zone and returned to their home base in Guam without incident.
China’s unilateral declaration was accompanied by the stipulation that all aircraft entering the new air defense zone must notify the Chinese of their presence or risk military reprisal from Beijing. The U.S., South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan have all rejected the zone, with the latter calling it invalid, unenforceable, and dangerous. The apparent catalyst for China’s decision to create a no-fly zone can be traced to a longstanding dispute with Japan over a cluster of islands which are controlled by the Japanese, though China lays claim to them.
While refraining from directly mentioning the flights, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said, “It continues to be our view that the policy announced by the Chinese over the weekend is unnecessarily inflammatory and has a destabilizing impact on the region.” (Derek Dowell – VNN) (Image: Flickr | neridamano)