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Originally published on November 29, 2013

China sent fighter jets and a surveillance aircraft to patrol disputed air space in its newly created East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) on Thursday (November 28).

The move further raises the stakes in a standoff with the US, Japan and South Korea over the establishment of the zone.

Japan and South Korea sent their own military aircraft into the zone on Thursday in defiance of Chinese requirements.

According to Reuters, “the Chinese patrol mission was ‘a defensive measure and in line with international common practices,’ said Shen Jinke, a spokesman for China’s air force.

“Ties between China and Japan have been strained for months by the dispute over the islands in the East China Sea, called the Diaoyu by China and the Senkaku by Japan. The islands are currently under Japanese administrative control.

“China last week unilaterally announced that foreign aircraft – including passenger aircraft – passing over the islands would have to identify themselves to China.

“Earlier this week, Washington sent two unarmed B-52 bombers through the airspace without first informing Beijing, a sign of support for its ally Japan.

“Although there are risks of a confrontation in the defense zone, U.S. and Chinese military officials have stepped up communication with each other in recent years and are in regular contact to avoid accidental clashes breaking out.

“U.S. officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Thursday’s Chinese flight, which Xinhua described as “normal air patrols” in the new air defense zone Beijing has declared.

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China Town martial arts @ Regent Street festival 2013

China’s military sent several fighter jets and an early warning aircraft on patrol in disputed air space over the East China Sea on Thursday, the Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported, quoting a spokesman for the People’s Liberation Army Air Force. The aircraft were part of what Xinhua called “normal air patrols” in the new air defense zone Beijing has declared. The move raises the stakes in a standoff with the United States, Japan and South Korea over the zone. The Chinese patrol mission was “a defensive measure and in line with international common practices,” said Shen Jinke, a spokesman for China’s air force, in the Xinhua article.