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U.S. deploys submarine-hunting jets to disputed air defence zone over East China Sea as tensions in volatile region mount

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Reblogged from:http://www.dailymail.co.uk

 

Posted by:TOM GARDNER

 

America has deployed the first of six state-of-the-art submarine-hunting jets to the East China Sea as tensions between Japan and China over a group of disputed islands mounts.

China last month established an air defense zone covering islands controlled by Japan and claimed by Beijing – sparking fears that it could lead to an unplanned military incident.

Now the U.S. Navy is sending P-8 Poseidon patrol aircraft which will strengthen America’s ability to hunt submarines and other vessels in seas close to China.

Tensions: U.S. Navy FA-18 Hornets cram the flight deck of the USS George Washington during a joint military exercise with Japan in the Pacific Ocean as the territorial row over the disputed islands intensified

Tensions: U.S. Navy FA-18 Hornets cram the flight deck of the USS George Washington during a joint military exercise with Japan, last week, in the Pacific Ocean as the territorial row over the disputed islands intensified. (File phot0)

Tensions in the volatile region have risen since the Chinese Air Force stated that it ‘escorted’ foreign warplanes out of its newly-declared air defence identification zone (ADIZ).

The deployment, planned before China established the ADIZ, includes six aircraft to be delivered to Kadena air base on Okinawa this month.

The first arrived on Sunday, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy told Reuters. The mission in the waters west of Japan’s main islands will be the new aircraft’s first anywhere.

Flashpoint: Chinese and Japanese air defense and economic zones and locating the islands in the East China Sea that the two countries have been disputing

Flashpoint: Chinese and Japanese air defense and economic zones and locating the islands in the East China Sea that the two countries have been disputing

Dispute: Relations between Japan and China have become strained as both assert their claims to disputed islets known as the Senkaku islands in Japan and Diaoyu islands in China, in the East China Sea. (File photo)

Dispute: Relations between Japan and China have become strained as both assert their claims to disputed islets known as the Senkaku islands in Japan and Diaoyu islands in China, in the East China Sea. (File photo)

The jet, built by Boeing Co based on its 737 passenger plane, has been built to replace the aging propeller-powered Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion patrol aircraft, which has been in service for 50 years.

Packed with the latest radar equipment and armed with torpedoes and anti-ship missiles, the P-8 is able to fly further and stay out on mission longer than the P-3.

The arrival of the P-8 came a day before U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is due to arrive in Tokyo, a visit that is being overshadowed by the territorial spat in the East China Sea between Japan and China.

While taking no position on the sovereignty of the islands known to the Japanese as the Senkakus and to the Chinese as the Daioyu, it does recognize Japanese control and therefore part of territory it would defend under a security pact with Japan.

Stand-off: China last week scrambled fighter jets to monitor two unarmed U.S. bombers that flew over the East China Sea

Stand-off: China last week scrambled fighter jets to monitor two unarmed U.S. bombers that flew over the East China Sea in defiance of Beijing’s declaration it was exercising greater military control over the area. (File photo)

Tensions in the region became even more strained last week when China sent two fighter jets to investigate US and Japanese military planes’ entry into a disputed area of the East China Sea.

Beijing has declared that all aircraft crossing through airspace must file flight plans and identify themselves or face unspecified ‘defensive emergency measures’. But the US, Japan and South Korea have all defied the ruling over the past few days.

In an intensification of the spat, China launched fighter jets into the area at the same time as foreign military flights.

Chinese Air Force spokesman Colonel Shen Jinke said warplanes had been scrambled to monitor two US surveillance aircraft and ten Japanese planes, including an F-15 fighter jet, crossing through the ADIZ.

He was reported by state media as saying that the jets had tracked and identified the planes.

Ministers in Tokyo declined to give details of the flights but said the Japanese Air Force was on routine operations and had encountered no ‘abnormal’ incidents. China announced the creation of the zone.

It covers a vast area of the East China Sea, including a region where gas has been discovered.

The row centres on airspace over three uninhabited outcrops called the Senkaku Islands by Japan and Diaoyu by China.

Taiwan also has a claim to the islands – bought by Japan from private sellers in 2012, much to the anger of China – and South Korea maintains an interest in a submerged rock in the zone known as Ieodo. The US called the establishment of the ADIZ a ‘destabilising attempt to alter the status quo in the region’.

 

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2516723/U-S-deploys-submarine-hunting-jets-disputed-air-defence-zone-East-China-Sea-tensions-volatile-region-mount.html#ixzz2mLx1xvgR

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2 thoughts on “U.S. deploys submarine-hunting jets to disputed air defence zone over East China Sea as tensions in volatile region mount

  1. Reblogged this on Brittius.com.

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