Taiwan joins protest chorus over China air zone

Taiwan joins protest chorus over China air zone

TAIPEI - The Taiwanese government said Friday it was making representations to China after Beijing declared a controversial air zone in the East China Sea that has angered allies including the US and Japan.

Taiwan's Ma Ying-jeou administration, which has been pushing for detente with Beijing since 2008, launched the belated protest following mounting pressure from the opposition.

"Mainland China had not consulted in advance with Taiwan over the air defence identification zone in the East China Sea, resulting in the overlapping with our flight information region," the Cabinet said in a statement.

The declared air zone includes disputed islands claimed by China, Japan, and Taiwan.

"We think the move will not help facilitate positive development of ties across the Taiwan Straits. Therefore, we'll convey our solemn protest through (proper) channels," it said.

An increasingly assertive Beijing unilaterally announced the zone including disputed islands claimed by China as the Diaoyus, but controlled by Japan, which calls them the Senkakus.

Beijing's move was condemned in Washington, Tokyo, South Korea and elsewhere.

Japan and South Korea both said Thursday they had disregarded the air zone, showing a united front after US B-52 bombers also entered the area.

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