Tokyo should revoke its zone first, says Beijing

Tokyo should revoke its zone first, says Beijing

China has hit back at Japan and called for Tokyo to give up its air defence zone first if it wants Beijing to do so, as it upped the ante in the war of words against Japan and the United States.

Japan has no right to criticise China over its air zone, said a spokesman for China's Ministry of Defence, noting that Japan has had one since 1969.

"If (we) want to talk about revoking, then we would ask the Japanese to first revoke their Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ)," Ministry of Defence spokesman Yang Yujun said at a press conference on Thursday.

Elsewhere, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Qin Gang upbraided Japan and the US for being unreasonable in challenging China's new air rules.

Beijing announced on Saturday that it would set up an ADIZ in the East China Sea, which covers the Diaoyu/Senkaku isles claimed by China and Japan.

It also issued rules requiring foreign aircraft entering the area to give prior notification, among other conditions, or be subject to "emergency military measures".

In response, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday called for China's new air measures to be revoked.

On Tuesday, two American B-52 bombers flew into the Chinese zone in defiance of the rules.

On Thursday, Mr Qin told reporters: "We ask that the Japanese and the Americans seriously self-reflect, immediately correct their errors and stop unreasonable accusations against the Chinese, stop creating friction or actions and words that harm the region's stability."

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