Tension in growing in the East China Sea where China established an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).
First, the ADIZ was “violated” by two U.S. B-52 strategic bombers that did not to comply with any of the rules set by Beijing for foreign aircraft entering the new airspace: they simply crossed the airspace, flying in international airspace without prior notification of their arrival.
Japanese military aircraft, including a P-3C maritime surveillance plane, that is supporting Japanese warships in the area, have carried out routine surveillance missions over the Senkaku islands (known as Diaoyu in China).
Some Japan Air Self Defense Force fighter jets carried out the first interceptions of China’s AEW aircraft patrolling the area few hours after the controversial ADIZ was established but more close encounters are to be expected: on Nov. 28, talking to state news agency Xinhua, People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) spokesman Shen Jinke said more fighter jets and an early warning aircraft were launched into the newly declared air defence zone.
The iarcraft conducted normal air patrols: “a defensive measure and in line with international common practices.”
So, what’s next?
Anything may happen, even if most probably Chinese jets will remain far away from Japanese or South Korean ones, that will continue to operate undistubed.
And, sooner or later, U.S. B-2s will be sent to fly an extended deterrence mission through the Chinese ADIZ.
Image credit: PLAAF