China says it monitored flights by US bombers that defied Beijing's new maritime defense zone

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Associated Press

Posted on November 27, 2013 at 4:00 PM

BEIJING (AP) — China is acknowledging that it let two American B-52 bombers fly unhindered through its newly declared air defense zone in the East China Sea despite its earlier threat to take defensive measures against unidentified foreign aircraft.

The U.S. flights yesterday tested the Chinese zone for the first time since it was declared over the weekend. China says aircraft flying through the area must identify themselves and accept Chinese instructions.

China's Defense Ministry says the planes were detected and monitored as they flew through the zone for two hours and 22 minutes. In a statement, the ministry says all aircraft flying through the zone will be monitored, and asserts that China has the ability to control the airspace.

The U.S. and Japan have said they don't acknowledge the zone, and Taiwan and South Korea also have rejected it.

Analysts say China's lack of any action suggests it's merely playing out a diplomatic game to establish ownership over the area rather than provoke an international incident.

%@AP Links

147-a-15-(Caroline Kennedy, U.S. ambassador to Japan, at speech to gathering of America-Japan Society and the American Chamber of Commerce)-"in the region"-Caroline Kennedy, the U.S. ambassador to Japan, says a move by China has made for greater anxiety in Asia. (27 Nov 2013)

<<CUT *147 (11/27/13)££ 00:15 "in the region"

148-a-13-(Caroline Kennedy, U.S. ambassador to Japan, at speech to gathering of America-Japan Society and the American Chamber of Commerce)-"a measured way"-Caroline Kennedy, the U.S. ambassador to Japan, says her host country has responded correctly in the face of Beijing's declaration it is exercising greater military control over the East China Sea. (27 Nov 2013)

<<CUT *148 (11/27/13)££ 00:13 "a measured way"

102-a-13-(Jen Psaki (SAH'-kee), State Department spokeswoman, at news conference Tuesday)-"confrontation and accidents"-State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki says the U.S. rejects China's establishment of the air defense zone over disputed islands. (27 Nov 2013)

<<CUT *102 (11/27/13)££ 00:13 "confrontation and accidents"

APPHOTO TOK101: FILE - In this May 16, 2007 file photo, a B-52 passes overhead at the National Security Forum air demonstration at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. China said Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013 it had monitored 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. Tuesday's flight of the B-52 bombers underscored U.S. assertions that it will not comply with Chinese demands that aircraft flying through its newly declared maritime air defense zone identify themselves and accept Chinese instructions. (AP Photo/Montgomery Advertiser, Karen S. Doerr, File) (16 May 2007)

<<APPHOTO TOK101 (05/16/07)££

APPHOTO TOK802: FILE - In this Sept. 2012 photo, the tiny islands in the East China Sea, called Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese are seen. China said Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013 it had monitored 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. Tuesday's flight of the B-52 bombers underscored U.S. assertions that it will not comply with Chinese demands that aircraft flying through its newly declared maritime air defense zone identify themselves and accept Chinese instructions. (AP Photo/Kyodo News, File) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT (10 Sep 2012)

<<APPHOTO TOK802 (09/10/12)££

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