China has handled a recent US B-52 situation in its air space with quite some tact. However, it has been a source of tension since there has been criticism from the audience at home.
China has explained its position of not intercepting two US B-52 planes that entered its air space. The two aircraft went through the air defense zone above the East China Sea and their pilots refused to identify their credentials. Yet the Chinese didn’t respond in a hostile way to this intrusion.
Beijing has issued a statement to the effect that it was clearly a violation yet it wasn’t such a big threat. Then a Japanese airliner too recently went through the region and refused to give a reason for its trespassing. The escalation of tension in the region has been a side effect of China’s new air zone regulatory policy. This interferes with Japanese air space. The two nations have an ongoing dispute over a group of islands that lie between them.
The Chinese reaction may be mild, but it is not a nation that is afraid of confrontation. Its new policies have brought the United States in direct opposition alongside its ally, Japan. China’s declaration has been criticized by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, who has called it a dangerous attempt to alter the existing state of affairs in the region.
China wants any aircraft that flies through the region to identify itself along with which country it hails from. The United States is adamant though. It has refused to notify the Chinese authorities regarding its forays through this foreign area. Meanwhile, several online commentators on China’s Sina Weibo website were critical of what they perceived to be their country’s cowardice in the face of pressure from the United States.
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