Chinese military and maritime officials have warned the Japanese government that Japan should bear responsibility for the consequences of sending fighter jets to intercept Chinese patrol planes flying over the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands.
The Ministry of Defence has acknowledged that they sent several F-15 jets in the past few weeks to intercept Chinese marine surveillance planes that have breached what they consider Japanese airspace. But according to Shi Qingfeng, director general of the Administration Office of the State Oceanic Administration, the planes were just on regular patrol in undisputed Chinese airspace. They believe that Japan’s conduct is “unreasonable” and they are just trying to increase pressure on an already tense situation. Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said that they are just fulfilling their duty to “safeguard China’s maritime law enforcement activities and protect the country’s territorial integrity and maritime rights”.
The new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, considered a hawkish politician, has assured the country that they will not yield to any threats over their sovereignty over the islands, which they purchased three of the past summer that has led to the escalating tensions between Japan and China. Abe has promised to boost defence spending to be able to counter China flexing its military muscles. Japan is not the only country worried over China’s growing military clout. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam all have territorial disputes with China over parts of the South China Sea.[ via Reuters ]