2 US Bombers Defy China's New Defense Zone

Flights over disputed islands go unchallenged
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 26, 2013 6:40 PM CST
File photo of a Japanese surveillance plane flying over the disputed islands in the East China Sea.   (AP Photo/Kyodo News, File)

(Newser) – China's newly declared air-defense zone over disputed islands in the East China Sea is apparently a defense zone in name only. Just days after Beijing announced the controversial move, two B-52 bombers from the US put it to the test by flying over the islands unannounced in defiance of the new rules, reports Reuters. The flights went off without a hitch, and without any interference from China.

"We have conducted operations in the area of the Senkakus," said a US military spokesman, using the name that Japan uses for the islands. China calls them the Diaoyus. "We have continued to follow our normal procedures, which include not filing flight plans, not radioing ahead, and not registering our frequencies." Over the weekend, China demanded that any planes in the region must do all of the above. The tensions might not be over yet, though: USA Today reports that a US carrier battle group arrives tomorrow in the area with Japanese warships for training exercises. And all of this takes place a week before Joe Biden visits both countries. (Read more China stories.)

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