China calm in face of US overflight

China calm in face of US overflight

China stressed on Wednesday its ability to "effectively manage and control" its newly declared air defence identification zone, a day after it calmly handled an unannounced US entry into the zone.

On Tuesday, China monitored two US B-52 bombers that entered the zone without informing Beijing, the Defence Ministry said. The Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that other air defence identification zones will be set up "at the right time when preparations are ready".

Responding to the US flights, Defence Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said: "The Chinese military monitored the entire process, carried out identification in a timely manner and ascertained the type of US aircraft.

"China is capable of exercising effective control over this airspace."

The US aircraft flew south and north along the eastern border of the East China Sea Air Defence Identification Zone from 11 am to 1:22 pm on Tuesday, about 200 km to the east of the Diaoyu Islands, Geng said.

The B-52s took off from their home base in Guam in what US defence officials say was a routine exercise. Experts said Japan and the US have been overreacting to, and imposing double standards over, China's zone.

Zhang Junshe, a military expert, said the main purpose of setting up the zone is to identify aircraft entering the area.

"Tuesday's case showed that we have finished the task and cut the time to launch an early warning."

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