China warns Japan against shooting down drones over islands
Beijing: China on Sunday warned Japan that any attempts to shoot down its unmanned drones over disputed islands in the East China Sea would be considered as an act of war and will invite retaliation.
"If Japan took the so called moves, it would be a severe provocation to China and an act of war, and China will take resolute measures to strike back.
The Japanese side shall be responsible for the consequence", China`s Defence Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said.
He was reacting to reports that Japanese government has approved defence plans that envisaged using air force planes to shoot down Chinese drones in Japanese airspace.
"Chinese aircraft have never infringed on other countries` airspace, and China never allows other countries` aircraft to infringe on China`s airspace," state-run Xinhua news agency quoted Geng as saying.
Both countries are involved in war of words over the disputed islands called Daioyu by China and Senkakus by Japan since last year and relations between them over it has strained considerably.
Geng defended Chinese patrols around the islands saying that the training and flight of its military aircraft, including drones, over relevant areas of the East China Sea are in line with international law and practice.
Geng also said that on October 23, a Japanese fishing boat sent a distress signal from a prohibited area in the Pacific where the Chinese Navy was conducting shooting training.
China provided convenience to Japanese vessels coming to the area for rescue, out of humanitarian concern, he said.
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