Zee Media Bureau
Beijing: Three US airlines said they were complying with Chinese demands of notifying their travel plans when traversing through Beijing’s newly established Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), repots said.
The three airlines, namely United, American and Delta airlines, said they were following Chinese requests for flight plans on Washington’s suggestion.
Although the US doesn’t recognize the Chinese zone established over East China Sea, the Obama adminisation on Friday advised he commercial airlines to stick to Beijing`s guidelines.
"We ... are advising for safety reasons that they comply with notices to airmen, which FAA always advises," a senior official said.
In contrast, two major airlines in Japan, the United States` close ally, have agreed with the Japanese government that they would fly through the zone without notifying China.
Earlier, in defiance, the US had flown two B-52 bomber aircraft over the Chinese air zone.
The Chinese Defence ministry also stated that it had "monitored" the flight of US bombers but it refrained from announcing any "emergency measures" which it had earlier said, would be imposed on any aircraft defying air zone.
The entire controversy surrounding the disputed islands in the East China Sea was reignited when China announced a new air defence identification zone (ADIZ).
The move was slammed by Japan and the US, who called the zone as invalid. Other countries too favoured Japan and criticized the Chinese act.
China announced last week that all aircraft entering the zone — a maritime area between China, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan — must notify Chinese authorities beforehand and that it would take unspecified defensive measures against those that don`t comply. Neighboring countries and the U.S. have said they will not honor the new zone — believed aimed at claiming disputed territory — and have said it unnecessarily raises tensions.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement Friday that the U.S. remained deeply concerned about China`s declared air identification zone. But she said that it is advising U.S. air carriers abroad to comply with notification requirements issued by China.
The United States and other countries have warned that the new zone could boost chances for miscalculations, accidents and conflicts, though analysts believe Beijing`s move is not intended to spark any aerial confrontations but rather is a long-term strategy to solidify claims to disputed territory by simply marking the area as its own.
The zone is seen primarily as China`s latest bid to bolster its claim over a string of uninhabited Japanese-controlled islands in the East China Sea known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. Beijing has been ratcheting up its sovereignty claims since Tokyo`s nationalization of the islands last year. However, there are questions whether China has the technical ability to fully enforce the zone due to a shortage of early warning radar aircraft and in-flight refueling capability.
The United States, Japan and South Korea all have said they sent military flights into the zone over the past week without notifying China. Japanese commercial flights have continued unhindered — although China has said its zone is not intended to have any effect on commercial flights not heading to China.
With Agency Inputs