China has told the United States to stay out of a territorial dispute with Japan in the East China Sea after Washington warned that China’s new air defense zone raises the risk of “misunderstanding and miscalculations.” Chinese officials have dismissed the U.S. comments as unjustified interference in what they say was their international right to put up the said zone.
American criticism of the air zone announcement is “completely unreasonable,” Col. Yang Yujun, a spokesman for China’s Ministry of National Defense, said on Sunday. The United States should stop taking sides on the issue, cease making “inappropriate remarks” and not send any more “wrong signals” that could lead to a “risky move by Japan,” he further added. Furthermore, Beijing has demanded that the United States respect Chinese national security, to stop making “irresponsible remarks” about the air defense identification zone and make “concrete efforts” for peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, Yang said. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it had lodged a representation with U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke asking the United States “to correct its mistakes immediately.”
Washington had continued to say that the latest Chinese move creates the risk of potentially dangerous miscalculations in the sensitive region, where Chinese and Japanese ships and planes have already been involved in tense encounters. “This unilateral action constitutes an attempt to change the status quo in the East China Sea. Escalatory action will only increase tensions in the region and create risks of an incident,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said. “We have urged China to exercise caution and restraint, and we are consulting with Japan and other affected parties throughout the region,” Kerry said. The United States has thousands of troops stationed in Japan – and in South Korea – as part of its treaties with its allies.