O novo gabinete do Japão anunciou na semana passada que aumentaria o que considera ser sua plataforma continental em duas zonas-chave no sul do país. Assim, o país reclamaria os direitos de zona econômica exclusiva (ZEE), possivelmente criando mais disputas com a Coreia do Sul e com a China.
Os presidentes da Rússia, Vladimir Putin, e da China, Xi Jinping, firmaram nesta terça-feira (20/05) uma “completa associação de cooperação energética”. Além de buscar um acordo para a compra do gás russo, que ainda não foi assinado, os dois líderes também deram início a uma série de manobras militares conjuntas no Mar da China Oriental, inéditas na história entre os dois países.
China anunciou na última quarta-feira (30/04) que vai conduzir exercícios militares navais em conjunto com a Rússia no Mar da China Oriental próximo da costa de Xangai ainda neste mês. Medida seria para aprofundar cooperação militar entre os dois países.
O presidente dos Estados Unidos, Barack Obama, assegurou o Japão de que as ilhas disputadas entre Tóquio e Pequim (Senkaku/Diaoyu) estão cobertas pelo tratado de defesa bilateral. A soberania japonesa sobre as ilhas é inquestionável, segundo os EUA, e haverá oposição a qualquer tentativa de reverter o fato. Enquanto isso, suspeita-se que a Coreia do Norte vá realizar novo teste nuclear.
O Ministério da Defesa do Japão assinou nesta segunda-feira um contrato para alugar um terreno na ilha de Yonaguni, onde construirá uma base militar para vigiar os movimentos da China em torno das disputadas ilhas Senkaku/Diaoyu. Base de radar deve abrigar cerca de 150 membros das Forças de Autodefesa japonesas.
Japão divulgou planos de estabelecer controle estatal sobre 280 ilhas desabitadas em sua zona econômica exclusiva (ZEE). O ministro japonês para políticas oceânicas e assuntos territoriais disse que o país registrará essas remotas ilhas como propriedades do Estado para melhorar sua administração.
Se por um lado as relações diplomáticas e securitárias entre China e Japão vêm ficando cada vez mais tensas, no campo da economia, os laços entre os dois país estão normalizando. China procura dissociar a política da economia. 2013 foi um dos melhores anos de Investimento Externo Direito japonês na China.
PLD, partido de Shinzo Abe, propôs esta sexta-feira (20/12) que a questão de a China unilateralmente decidir desenvolver campos de gás em zonas disputadas com o Japão seja levada a tribunais internacionais.
Japão aumentará seus gastos militares nos próximos anos com a compra de caças, veículos anfíbios e aviões de transporte de tropas, enquanto procura estabelecer relações mais próximas com parceiros asiáticos para se contrapor à China.
A cúpula especial entre a Associação de Nações do Sudeste Asiático (ASEAN) e o Japão para celebrar os 40 anos das relações entre o país com o bloco foi dominada pelas tensões com a China após a criação de zona de identificação de defesa aérea no Mar da China Oriental. Países exigiram liberdade no ar e nos mares.(mais…)
No último domingo (08/12), a Coreia do Sul anunciou que expandiria a sua zona de defesa aérea em clara reação à semelhante atitute vinda da China, que agora recebeu calmamente a notícia, sem considerar que infrinja a sua soberania territorial, mesmo que inclua rochedos disputados com os sul-coreanos.
China Is Surprisingly OK with South Korea’s New ADIZ
The Diplomat – 10/12/2013 – por Shannon Tiezzi
South Korea announced Sunday that it is expanding its 62 year-old air defense identification zone in a clear reaction to China’s own new ADIZ. The announcement adds over 66,000 sq. km (over 25,000 sq. mi) to Korea’s ADIZ. The expanded zone will cover the submerged rocks that are the subject of a territorial dispute between South Korea and China and will overlap with the ADIZs of both China and Japan (For more background on South Korea’s reaction to China’s ADIZ, see the analysis by my colleagues Ankit Panda and Zachary Keck.)
According to remarks by Jang Hyuk, head of policy for South Korea’s Defense Ministry, the government believes that the move “will not significantly impact our relationships with China and with Japan as we try to work for peace and cooperation in Northeast Asia.” Unlike China, South Korea’s government tried to control the inevitable tensions caused by its move by conferring in advance with neighboring countries, including the U.S., China, and Japan. According to Jang Hyuk, “related countries” are overall “in agreement that this move complies with international regulations and is not an excessive measure.”
China had a decidedly muted reaction to South Korea’s announcement. Partially, this was an inevitable result of China’s own insistence that its ADIZ was in accordance with international precedent and convention — China would have a hard time now arguing that South Korea has no right to expand its own ADIZ. In response to a question about the issue, China Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesman Hong Lei confirmed that China had been notified in advance by the Republic of Korea (ROK).
Still, Hong commented that “China expresses regret” over the decision to expand the Korean ADIZ. “China will stay in communication with the ROK in the principle of equality and mutual respect,” Hong added. “We hope that the ROK will meet China halfway.” As for the issue of the disputed territories, Hong Lei stressed that “an ADIZ is not the [sic] territorial airspace … It has nothing to do with maritime and air jurisdiction.” In other words, China is resisting the obvious temptation to consider Korea’s expanded ADIZ as a threat to territorial sovereignty.
China’s restraint towards South Korea only draws more attention to it diplomatic row with Japan. Japan’s parliament recently passed a resolution calling for China to rescind its ADIZ. China’s reaction to this development was far more aggressive than its response to South Korea: “Japan’s accusation against China confuses right and wrong and is totally groundless,” Hong Lei said. China is “strongly dissatisfied” with Japan, two words that don’t get used a few questions later when Hong Lei is asked about South Korea.
Interestingly, most of the concern Chinese scholars do show over South Korea’s move circles back to Japan. In an op-ed for China News, Xue Baosheng of Jilin University writes that China is concerned that Japan might use Korea’s action as an excuse to make its own provocative moves. Xue worries that South Korea may not truly understand the “sinister motives” of Japanese authorities, which mean the ROK government could be “hijacked” by Japan to attack China. South Korea, then, is not a threat in itself, but only a danger to China should Korea become a pawn in Japan’s larger game.
Most Chinese commentators, including Xue, feel a certain kinship with South Korea because both countries suffered under Japanese occupation during World War II. An editorial in the Global Times noted that if Japan had been the one to expand its ADIZ, it would have provoked a strong reaction from China. South Korea, however can get away with such a move both because of its generally good relations with China and because China does not seem to view the ROK as a rival. The Global Times editorial dismissed Korea’s move as a “small tactical advantage” with no major strategic significance; it’s impossible to imagine China reacting so apathetically to any Japanese moves in the East China Sea.
The Global Times also noted how different the regional reactions were to South Korea’s expanded ADIZ. The U.S. State Department in particular issued a statement implicitly comparing South Korea’s ADIZ announcement to China’s: “We appreciate the ROK’s efforts to pursue this action in a responsible, deliberate fashion by prior consultations with the United States and its neighbors, including Japan and China.” The statement added, “We also appreciate [South Korea’s] commitment to implement this adjustment to its ADIZ in a manner consistent with international practice and respect for the freedom of overflight and other internationally lawful uses of international airspace,” noting that South Korea does not expect commercial aircraft to comply with the ADIZ regulations.
The Global Times argued that U.S. and Japanese hostility to China is a reflection of China’s status a “rising major power.” In other words, the article suggests that, like China, the U.S. and Japan don’t see South Korea as a rival, and are more willing to accept its security moves. Still, there’s a limit to this rather paternalistic view of South Korea. The editorial warned that, should South Korea cross the line in its relationship with China, China could retaliate by disrupting economic ties or by stirring up trouble with North Korea.
Despite the warning, China remains cautiously accepting of South Korea’s latest move. This is a testament to the relative strength of China-ROK relations. However, it also serves to highlight a point that China has repeatedly denied, that the new ADIZ is aimed straight at Japan. By all but ignoring South Korea’s response but pouncing aggressively on Japan’s every reaction, China makes it clear which country it views as a strategic rival in the region.
Coreia do Sul anunciou que estenderá sua zona de defesa aérea, que agora coincidirá com a semelhantemente recém-criada zona da China.
South Korea announces expanded air defence zone
BBC – 08/12/2013
South Korea has announced it is expanding its air defence zone, which will now partially overlap with a similar zone announced by China.
The two zones will now both include a rock claimed by both countries and controlled by South Korea.
The defence ministry said it would co-ordinate with “related countries”.
China announced a new Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) last month, in a move that raised regional tensions.
Both countries’ zones will cover the airspace above a rock called Ieodo by South Korea and Suyan by China, which is claimed by both countries.
As well as Ieodo rock, South Korea’s Defence Ministry also said the new military air defence zone would cover the airspace above Marado and Hongdo islands controlled by Seoul in waters south of the peninsula.
The new parameters are a direct challenge to China’s own air defence zone, which covers part of the same area, says the BBC’s Lucy Williamson in Seoul.
South Korea said its zone would take effect on 15 December, and that neighbouring countries had already been notified of the change.
The government would continue to consult with neighbouring countries to stop accidental military clashes, it said.
“We will co-ordinate with related countries to fend off accidental military confrontations and to ensure safety of airplanes,” defence ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok told the AFP news agency on Sunday.
South Korea has already challenged China’s attempt to impose its authority in the area by flying military planes through the zone announced by Beijing.
Commercial airlines in South Korea have also been advised not to comply with China’s demands for planes to identify themselves to it.
The US and Japan have also rejected China’s zone and flown undeclared military aircraft through the zone.
It will be the first time that South Korea has adjusted the zone since it was first set up by the US military in 1951 during the Korean War, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reports.
China’s recently announced ADIZ also covers islands claimed and controlled by Japan.
China said aircraft flying through the zone must follow its rules, including filing flight plans.
Earlier this week, US Vice-President Joe Biden said China’s announcement had caused “significant apprehension in the region”.
He was speaking during a visit to China overshadowed by tensions raised by the announcement.
Após conversas a portas fechadas com o presidente chinês Xi Jinping, a qual tratou mormente sobre a segurança regional após a escalada de tensões com o Japão, vice-presidente dos Estados Unidos vai à Coreia do Sul tentar ser um mediados das disputas por ilhas entre o país e o Japão.
U.S. Vice President Biden to arrive in Seoul Thursday after tense China talks
Arirang News – 05/12/2013 – por Yoo Li-an
Vice President Biden told Chinese President Xi Jinping that the United States is concerned over China’s newly declared air zone.
U.S. officials say Biden told Xi that the United States does not recognize the zone, which involves islands that have been at the center of dispute between China and Japan.
President Xi argued that the islands, known as Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan have long been Chinese territory.
The two also discussed North Korean issues, especially the apparent purging of Pyongyang’s second in command, Jang Seong-thaek, and how that will affect security on the Korean peninsula.
Emerging from a closed-door meeting, the two leaders didn’t offer details about their talks, only emphasizing the importance of cooperation amid the tumultuous political climate.
” you are candid and you are constructive in developing this new relationship. Both qualities are sorely needed.”
“We stand ready to work together with the U.S. side to appropriately handle sensitive issues and differences between us so that together we can make sure our bilateral relationship will continue to move forward in a sustained, healthy,and stable way.”
A similar set of regional issues are to top the agenda during Biden’s meeting with President Park Geun-hye when he arrives in Seoul late Thursday afternoon.
Biden has expressed hopes that Korea and Japan resolve disputes over wartime history and territorial issues.
In a written interview with the Korean daily, Chosun Ilbo, however, Biden made clear that Washington won’t act as a “mediator” over the issue.
Em visita, há tempos programada, ao Leste Asiático, Joe Biden, vice-presidente dos Estados Unidos, instou Japão e China a encontrarem maneiras de diminuírem as tensões na região após a criação chinesa de uma área de defesa aérea que inclui zonas em disputa.
UPDATE 3-Biden urges Japan, China to lower tensions over air defence zone
Reuters – 03/12/2013 – por Stanley White e Elaine Lies
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden called on Japan and China to find ways to reduce tensions that spiked after Beijing proclaimed an air defence zone over disputed isles in the East China Sea, while repeating Washington was “deeply concerned” by the move.
The United States has made clear it will stand by treaty obligations that require it to defend the Japanese-controlled islands, but it is also reluctant to get dragged into any military clash between the Asian rivals.
“This action has raised regional tensions and increased the risk of accidents and miscalculation,” Biden told a news conference alongside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
“This underscores the need for crisis management mechanisms and effective channels of communication between China and Japan to reduce the risk of escalation.”
He said he would raise U.S. concerns directly when he met Chinese leaders.
Biden was on the first leg of an Asian trip that takes him to Beijing on Wednesday and then to Seoul.
Biden also called for better ties between Washington’s Asian allies Tokyo and Seoul, chilled in recent months due in part to bitter South Korean memories of the 1910-1945 Japanese colonisation of the Korean peninsula.
Japan reiterated on Tuesday that Tokyo and Washington had both rejected Beijing’s establishment of the zone – despite the fact that three U.S. airlines, acting on government advice, are notifying China of plans to transit the area.
“We reaffirmed that policies and measures of both our countries, including the operations of the (Japanese) Self-Defense Forces and U.S. forces, will not change and we will closely cooperate,” Abe told the news conference.
“We agreed that we will will not condone any actions that threaten the safety of civilian aircraft.”
Washington said over the weekend that the advice to U.S. airlines did not mean U.S. acceptance of the zone, and last week it sent two B-52 bombers into the area without informing China.
U.S. COMMITTED TO “REBALANCING” TO ASIA
Washington is also asking China not to set up an air defence zone in the South China Sea, where Beijing is locked in territorial rows with Southeast Asian nations, without first consulting countries concerned, a senior official travelling with Biden told reporters, according to Kyodo news agency.
The Japanese and South Korean governments have advised their airlines not to submit flight plans in advance as demanded from all aircraft since it announced the creation of the zone on Nov. 23.
Japan Airlines and ANA Holdings, however, are uneasy about flying through the zone without notifying China’s civil aviation authorities, two sources familiar with the Japanese carriers’ thinking told Reuters.
U.S., Japanese and South Korean military aircraft all breached the zone last week without informing Beijing and China later scrambled fighters into the area.
Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said China’s request for flight plans was good for aviation safety.
“A small number of countries’ resolute refusal to report is not beneficial, and is an irresponsible display,” Geng said in a statement on the ministry’s website. “The East China Sea Air Defence Identification Zone is a safe, not risky zone, a zone of cooperation not confrontation.”
In an English-language commentary, China’s offcial Xinhua news agency said Washington’s desire to “shore up its little brother” (Japan) was somewhat understandable.
But it added: “Yet when Tokyo keeps pissing off almost everybody in the region by its attitude toward its wartime history, it would ultimately cost the United States more than it would gain from backing a country that still honours those whose hands were red with American blood.”
Washington takes no position on the sovereignty of the disputed islands, known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China. However, it recognises Tokyo’s administrative control and says the U.S.-Japan security pact applies to them.
Biden also said Washington was “fully committed” to its strategy of “rebalancing” to Asia, dismissing doubts in Japan and elsewhere in the region over whether the United States has the resources to carry out that strategy given its fiscal woes, its attention on the Middle East, and partisan battles at home.
Dois acidentes recentes envolvendo belonaves da Coreia do Norte durante exercício militares sugerem envelhecimento da frota do país, contudo o país ainda possui capacidades que não podem ser ignoradas.
Is North Korea’s Navy Finally Falling Apart?
The Diplomat – 15/11/2013 – por Stefan Soesanto
North Korea’s state news agency (KCNA) and South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo reported on November 4 that two North Korean ships sank only a few days apart in mid-October during military drills in the East Sea. With KCNA releasing several photos of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un visiting the newly erected gravestones for the approximately 15-30 perished sailors, the two naval accidents have become a political tool in Pyongyang’s domestic power games. While it is extremely rare for the state media to report on North Korean military accidents, the two separate incidents do beg the question: Is the DPRK’s navy finally falling apart?
Media reports have so far identified the two sunken ships as the 60-meter long, 375-ton Hainan-class Submarine Chaser No. 233, and an undisclosed 100 to 200-ton North Korean patrol boat.
The Hainan-class is a Chinese-built anti-submarine warfare vessel. Some 126 of these boats were assembled from the 1960s to the mid-1980s. According to IHS Jane’s, 26 of these vessels were fitted for export to countries like Bangladesh, Egypt, Myanmar, Pakistan and North Korea. Pyongyang received its Hainan delivery in three shipments during 1975 to 1978. While the Hainan was primarily conceptualized for coastal anti-submarine warfare, its operational range also includes scouting, mine-laying, and coastal rescue missions. Prior to the incident in October, the North Korean navy maintained six Hainan vessels, as reported in the IISS Military Balance 2013.
But although KCNA clearly named the Submarine Chaser No. 233 as the vessel that sank in the East Sea, the South Korean military classification of a Hainan-class does not seem to be correct. According to IHS Jane’s fleet list there is no North Korean Hainan-class with the designated Number 233, nor does it seem likely that a Chinese-built vessel would defy the DPRKs geopolitical challenge and end up operating off its distant East Coast. Whether South Korea’s military intelligence or outside naval experts will be able to clarify these discrepancies remains to be seen.
The second undisclosed 100 to 200-ton patrol boat falls into a wider range of categories of North Korean military vessels. Three possible patrol boat types would fit the media description. The 130-ton Chinese-built Shanghai II, which was transferred to North Korea from 1967-1975; the 150-ton Chong-Ju-class, which was put into service somewhere during the 1990s; and the 190-ton modified Russian-model SO-1, which was assembled starting in 1957, and became infamous as the main vessel involved in the capture of the USS Pueblo in 1968. From here, it is pure speculation which model would be more prone to malfunctions that could sink it. However, the best guess would be the SO-1, given its advanced age and the fact that this vessel-type is primarily deployed on North Korea’s East Coast.
Most of the DPRK’s 700-800 strong green-water fleet is on average 30 to 50 years of age and does not operate more than 50 miles offshore. With seas on both sides and no chance of exchanging vessels between its Eastern and Western fleet, Pyongyang is forced to allocate scarce resources in a long-term and strategic manner to guarantee the operational readiness of both fleets.
North Korean patrol boats have been mostly involved in skirmishes surrounding the Northern Limit Line (NLL), the still-disputed maritime border between the two Koreas in the West Sea. Conditions in the West are ideal for North Korea’s small, fast and agile patrol boats, given the rugged coastal line and shallow waters. Conditions in the East, however, are much more favorable for North Korea’s large submarine fleet, which on numerous occasions during the 1990s conducted regular infiltration operations into the South, such as the infamous 1996 Gangneung and 1998 Sokcho incidents.
From the limited media information available the most feasible explanation for the two naval accidents in the East Sea is a lack of strategic prioritization and funding from Pyongyang to properly maintain its underused patrol boats in the East. If Pyongyang has truly been pressed to make this military trade-off, it will reflect the naval strategies employed by other East Asian countries when it comes to choosing between naval assets covering territorial disputes and those responsible for military warfare. While the former – essentially patrol boats – focus on policing and constabulary, the latter are geared towards eliminating enemy combatants and conducting clandestine naval operations, which in North Korea’s case is the job of its submarine force. In short, patrol boats are not made to take the fight to the enemy, but merely to safeguard and protect coastal lines, which the territorial dispute makes more challenging off North Korea’s western coast, despite the easier waters.
But despite the two naval accidents in quick succession and a possible change in naval strategy to accommodate resource constraints, there is little evidence to suggest that the North Korean navy is in rapid decline. Surely it will lose more vessels if they are highly stressed in military exercises or forced into outright combat missions. North Korean patrol boats in particular are highly unsuitable for active frontline duty, and in most skirmishes with South Korean naval forces they have invariably ended up either on fire, highly damaged or at the bottom of the sea.
North Korean submarines are, however, an entirely different story, as evidenced by the sinking of the South Korean Cheonan corvette in early 2010. According to IHS Jane’s, the DPRK maintains around 40 mid-size Sang-O-class submarines built between 1995 and 2003, and some 20 large Romeo-class vessels which were built between 1976 and 1995. Additionally, Pyongyang has been churning out midget submarines of the Yono-class since the 1990s, and has some 20 outdated midget Yugo-submarines in reserve. All in all, the numbers for North Korea’s relatively modern submarine fleet vary between 70 and 90 vessels, making it the largest submarine fleet in the world.
But being the smallest branch within the vast North Korean armed forces (with 1.2 million personnel) naturally imposes its own budget constraints at a time when the upper echelons in Pyongyang are focusing on ballistic missile programs, nuclear enrichment, the expansion of the Special Forces, and enhancements to frontline artillery. But to discount North Korea’s navy due to the loss of two insignificant patrol boats would be the wrong lesson to take away here.
While the DPRK’s navy may well still be seaworthy, these latest two incidents could press Pyongyang to modernize its naval force at the expense of other programs. Especially when looking to the South, which is already determined to establish itself as a naval power with its three billion-dollar Aegis destroyers and plans to build three more, the two accidents and Kim Jong-Un’s subsequent visit to the graves of the fallen sailors may end up being the first step in an asymmetric challenge to South Korea’s naval ambitions.
Nova zona de defesa área da China sugere uma preocupante nova abordagem para a região do leste asiático.
The Economist – 30/11/2013
The announcement by a Chinese military spokesman on November 23rd sounded bureaucratic: any aircraft flying through the newly designated Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea must notify Chinese authorities in advance and follow instructions from its air-traffic controllers. America’s response was rapid. On November 26th Barack Obama sent two B-52 bombers to fly through the new zone without notifying China (see article). This face-off marks the most worrying strategic escalation between the two countries since 1996, when China’s then president, Jiang Zemin, ordered a number of exclusion zones for missile tests in the Taiwan Strait, leading America to send two aircraft-carriers there.
Plenty of countries establish zones in which they require aircraft to identify themselves, but they tend not to be over other countries’ territory. The Chinese ADIZ overlaps with Japan’s own air-defence zone (see map). It also includes some specks of rock that Japan administers and calls the Senkaku islands (and which China claims and calls the Diaoyus), as well as a South Korean reef, known as Ieodo. The move is clearly designed to bolster China’s claims (seearticle). On November 28th Japan and South Korea sent aircraft into the zone.
Growing economic power is bound to go hand-in-hand with growing regional assertiveness. That is fine, so long as the behaviour of the rising power remains within international norms. In this case, however, China’s does not; and America, which has guaranteed free navigation of the seas and skies of East Asia for 60 years, is right to make that clear.
How worrying China’s move is depends partly on the thinking behind it. It may be that, like a teenager on a growth spurt who doesn’t know his own strength, China has underestimated the impact of its actions. The claim that America’s bombers had skirted the edge of the ADIZ was gawkily embarrassing. But teenagers who do not realise the consequences of their actions often cause trouble: China has set up a casus belli with its neighbours and America for generations to come.
It would thus be much more worrying if the provocation was deliberate. The “Chinese dream” of Xi Jinping, the new president, is a mixture of economic reform and strident nationalism. The announcement of the ADIZ came shortly after a party plenum at which Mr Xi announced a string of commendably radical domestic reforms. The new zone will appeal to the nationalist camp, which wields huge power, particularly in the armed forces. It also helps defend Mr Xi against any suggestions that he is a westernising liberal.
If this is Mr Xi’s game, it is a dangerous one. East Asia has never before had a strong China and a strong Japan at the same time. China dominated the region from the mists of history until the 1850s, when the West’s arrival spurred Japan to modernise while China tried to resist the foreigners’ influence. China is eager to re-establish dominance over the region. Bitterness at the memory of the barbaric Japanese occupation in the second world war sharpens this desire. It is this possibility of a clash between a rising and an established power that lies behind the oft-used parallel between contemporary East Asia and early 20th-century Europe, in which the Senkakus play the role of Sarajevo.
Seas of troubles
Tensions are not at that level. Japan’s constitution bans it from any military aggression and China normally goes to great lengths to stress that its rise—unlike that of Japan in the 1920s and 1930s—will be peaceful. But the neighbours are nervous, especially as the establishment of the ADIZ appears to match Chinese ambitions in the South China Sea.
Chinese maps show what is known as the “nine-dash line” encompassing all the South China Sea. In the wake of the global financial crisis, perhaps believing its own narrative of Chinese rise and American decline, it began to overreach in its dealings with its neighbours. It sent ships to disputed reefs, pressed foreign oil companies to halt exploration and harassed American and Vietnamese naval vessels in the South China Sea. These actions brought a swift rebuke from America’s then secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, and China appeared to back off and return to its regional charm offensive. Some observers say that the government is using the ADIZ to establish a nine-dash line covering the East China Sea as well. They fear China’s next move will be to declare an ADIZ over the South China Sea, to assert control over both the sea and the air throughout the region.
Whether or not China has such specific ambitions, the ADIZ clearly suggests that China does not accept the status quo in the region and wants to change it. Any Chinese leader now has an excuse for going after Japanese planes. Chinese ships are already ignoring Japanese demands not to enter the waters surrounding the disputed islands.
What can be done? Next week Joe Biden, America’s vice-president, arrives in China. The timing may be uncomfortable, but it is fortuitous. Mr Biden and Mr Xi know each other well: before Mr Xi became president, he spent five days in America at Mr Biden’s invitation. Mr Biden is also going to South Korea and Japan.
America’s “pivot” towards Asia is not taken very seriously there: Mr Obama is seen as distracted by his domestic problems. Mr Biden could usefully make clear America’s commitment to guaranteeing freedom of navigation in the region. Japan and South Korea, who squabble over petty issues, need to be told to get over their differences. As for China, it needs to behave like a responsible world power, not a troublemaker willing to sacrifice 60 years of peace in north-east Asia to score some points by grabbing a few windswept rocks. It should accept Japan’s suggestion of a military hotline, similar to the one that is already established between Beijing and Washington.
The region must work harder to build some kind of architecture where regional powers can discuss security. If such a framework had existed in Europe in 1914, things might have turned out differently.
Governo dos EUA recomendou neste sábado (30/11) que as companhias aéreas estadunidenses sujeitem-se às demandas da China em voos sobre a sua nova área de defesa no Mar da China Oriental.
U.S. advises airlines to comply with China air zone demands
Japan Today / Associated Press – 30/11/2013 – por Ian Mader
The United States on Saturday advised U.S. carriers to comply with China’s demand that it be told of any flights passing through its new maritime air defense zone over the East China Sea, an area where Beijing said it launched two fighter planes to investigate a dozen American and Japanese reconnaissance and military flights.
It was the first time since proclaiming the zone on Nov 23 that China said it sent planes there on the same day as foreign military flights, although it said it merely identified the foreign planes and took no further action.
China announced last week that all aircraft entering the zone — a maritime area between China, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan — must notify Chinese authorities beforehand and that it would take unspecified defensive measures against those that don’t comply. Neighboring countries and the U.S. have said they will not honor the new zone — believed aimed at claiming disputed territory — and have said it unnecessarily raises tensions.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement that the U.S. remained deeply concerned about China’s declared air identification zone. But she said that it is advising U.S. air carriers abroad to comply with notification requirements issued by China.
On Wednesday, Psaki had said the U.S. government was working to determine if the new rules applied to civil aviation. But she said that in the meantime, U.S. air carriers were being advised to take all steps they consider necessary to operate safely in the East China Sea region.
In Beijing, the Ministry of Defense said the Chinese fighter jets identified and monitored the two U.S. reconnaissance aircraft and a mix of 10 Japanese early warning, reconnaissance and fighter planes during their flights through the zone early Friday.
“China’s air force has faithfully carried out its mission and tasks, with China’s navy, since it was tasked with patrolling the East China Sea air defense identification zone. It monitored throughout the entire flights, made timely identification and ascertained the types,” ministry spokesman Col. Shen Jinke said in a statement on its website.
In Washington, a Pentagon spokesman, Army Col. Steve Warren, said when asked about China’s statement, “The U.S. will continue to partner with our allies and will operate in the area as normal.”
Japanese officials declined to confirm details of any flights, but said routine missions in the area were continuing.
“We are simply conducting our ordinary warning and surveillance activity like before. We have not encountered any abnormal instances so far, therefore we have not made any announcement,” Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters in Tokyo.
The United States and other countries have warned that the new zone could boost chances for miscalculations, accidents and conflicts, though analysts believe Beijing’s move is not intended to spark any aerial confrontations but rather is a long-term strategy to solidify claims to disputed territory by simply marking the area as its own.
June Teufel Dreyer, who specializes in security issues at the University of Miami, said the Chinese government — while backing down from strictly enforcing the zone to keep a lid on tensions — is walking a delicate line because it is faced with strong public opinion from nationalists at home. Sending up the fighter planes Friday was aimed at the domestic audience, and China is likely to send planes regularly when foreign aircraft enter the zone without notifying Chinese authorities, she said.
“They will be ‘escorting’ the intruding planes, but they are not going to shoot them,” she said.
The zone is seen primarily as China’s latest bid to bolster its claim over a string of uninhabited Japanese-controlled islands in the East China Sea known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. Beijing has been ratcheting up its sovereignty claims since Tokyo’s nationalization of the islands last year. However, there are questions whether China has the technical ability to fully enforce the zone due to a shortage of early warning radar aircraft and in-flight refueling capability.
The United States, Japan and South Korea all have said they sent military flights into the zone over the past week without notifying China. Japanese commercial flights have continued unhindered — although China has said its zone is not intended to have any effect on commercial flights not heading to China.
Dreyer said the U.S. and Japan have kept sending planes into the zone to make good on the message that they are ignoring it. “They have to do it more than once to show they are serious,” she said.
Dreyer said the Chinese government may have miscalculated the strength of the international response to the establishment of the zone, but that China will hold its line in the long run.
“The Chinese government is not going to concede the substance,” she said. “When circumstances are more conducive, they will try to enforce it more strictly in the future. This is a pattern we have noticed for decades.”
A zona de defesa aérea criada unilateralmente pela China também se sobrepõe à Coreia do Sul. Os dois países também têm disputa por rochedos (Ieodo/Suyan/Socotra) no Mar da China Oriental.
The East China ADIZ and the Curious Case of South Korea
The Diplomat – 28/11/2013 – por Ankit Panda
Much has been said and written already about China’s unilateral establishment of an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) earlier this week. Reactions in Japan and the United States have been well-documented, but little analysis has been devoted exclusively to the South Korean angle on the ADIZ issue. The ADIZ, even it was a ham-fisted and poorly conceived strategic attempt to exert Chinese sovereignty over the disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku islands, did not necessarily have to overlap with about 3,000 square kilometers of South Korea’s own ADIZ, encompassing Ieodo (Suyan) Rock and grazing the Western fringe of Jeju-do’s airspace in the process.
Coverage from Monday in the South Korean press was less-than-sympathetic to the Chinese ADIZ. The Hankyoreh began its report by noting the inclusion of Ieodo in the ADIZ. The Chinese press, for its part, immediately disseminated a Chinese defense ministry statement that China had “no territorial dispute” with Seoul over Ieodo in an attempt to offset the tension. The report included a statement by Qin Gang, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, who clarified that the two would resolve the issue via “friendly consultations and negotiations.”
The official South Korea response was significantly more muted than Japan’s. For example, Park Geun-hye did not make any public denunciations of the ADIZ while Shinzo Abe responded publicly and comprehensively. The South Korean high-level response came from Kim Min-seok, the defense minister, who said that Korea would continue to fly in the area covered by the ADIZ without informing China. The Wall Street Journal reports that South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se, speaking at a defense forum, said that the ADIZ imposition by China had made “tricky regional situations even more difficult to deal with” — a fairly muted response.
South Korea will have the first opportunity to engage in a high-level defense dialogue with China over the ADIZ issue tomorrow when the Korea-China vice defense ministerial-level strategic dialogue takes place. The ADIZ was included on the agenda at the last minute, and Chinese delegates are expected to clarify the meaning of the ADIZ to their South Korean counterparts. China officially maintains that the ADIZ is a stabilizing attempt to reduce misunderstandings in the air — something its neighbors and the United States have been reluctant to accept.
However, a Xinhua piece announcing the fact that South Korea and China would discuss the ADIZ at the dialogue beginning tomorrow included the same sort of assertive language used in the general ADIZ announcement: “Any airplane that fails to follow such rules will face emergency defense measures taken by the Chinese military.” This implies that China is not ready to make any exceptions for South Korea.
The beauty of a unilateral move like an ADIZ is that the country imposing the zone gets to decide how the lines are drawn on the map. The Chinese decision to draw the ADIZ such that it was guaranteed to raise the ire of South Korea is odd. With South Korea, the PRC was fortunate enough to avoid the sorts of territorial rigmaroles it often finds itself in with Japan, Taiwan and various Southeast Asian states (over the South China Sea). South Korea and China had also found themselves converging over their common historical distaste for Japan along nationalist lines — a phenomenon abetted by the almost concomitant election of conservative Park Geun-hye in Korea and Shinzo Abe in Japan.
It’s perhaps too early to make a definitive determination about the impact the Chinese ADIZ will have on future relations between China and South Korea. South Korea’s restrained rhetorical response and China’s immediate attempts to set the record straight on Ieodo indicate that the ADIZ’s northeastern frontier, near Jeju-do, may have been an oversight on China’s part.
On the flip side, China, which sees the ADIZ as an important defensive measure, may have made a strategic calculation that running the ADIZ’s frontiers so close to South Korean airspace could offer a greater buffer against United States’ forces based in South Korea. Of course, if yesterday’s B-52 flyby showed the Chinese anything, that may have been somewhat of a miscalculation as well.
What should give South Korea pause over the ADIZ is the possible imposition of such zones in the future by China, something Chinese Ministry of Defense spokesman Yang Yujun claimed was in the pipes: “China will establish other Air Defense Identification Zones at the right moment after necessary preparations are completed.” A future ADIZ off the Bohai Sea and into the Yellow Sea would have serious implications for South Korean security.
A intensificação dos impasses no Pacífico, especialmente no Mar da China Oriental, é vista por Pequim e Seul como prova de que o Japão está revivendo sua mentalidade militarista.
Is Shinzo Abe’s ‘new nationalism’ a throwback to Japanese imperialism?
The Guardian – 27/11/2013 – por Simon Tisdall
The deepening confrontation between Japan and its giant neighbour, China, over a disputed island chain, which this week sucked in US military forces flying B-52 bombers, holds no terrors for Kenji Fujii, captain of the crack Japanese destroyer JS Murasame.
As a battleship-grey drizzle sweeps across Yokosuka harbour, home port to the Japan maritime self-defence force and the US Seventh Fleet, Fujii stands four-square on his helicopter deck, a totemic red Japanese sun-ray ensign flapping at the flagstaff behind him. His stance exudes quiet purposefulness.
The Murasame, armed with advanced missiles, torpedoes, a 76mm rapid-fire turret cannon and a vicious-looking Phalanx close-in-weapons-system (CIWS) Gatling gun, is on the frontline of Japan’s escalating standoff with China and its contentious bid to stand up for itself and become a power in the world once again. And Fujii clearly relishes his role in the drama.
Asked whether he will be taking his ship south, to the hotly disputed waters off the Senkaku islands in the East China sea (which China calls the Diaoyu and claims as its own), Fujii smiles and bows. His executive officer, acting as translator, explains that “for security and operational reasons” the captain cannot comment. The situation there is just too sensitive.
The name Murasame means “passing shower”. But Japan’s decision last year to in effect nationalise some of the privately owned Senkakus – officials prefer to call it a transfer of property rights – triggered a prolonged storm of protest from China, which has been sending ships to challenge the Japanese coastguard ever since.
So far, there have been no direct armed exchanges, but there have been several close shaves, including a Chinese navy radar lock-on and the firing of warning shots by a Japanese fighter plane.
China’s weekend declaration of an exclusive “air defence identification zone” covering the islands was denounced by Tokyo and Washington and sharply increased the chances of a military clash. US B-52 bombers and Japanese civilian airliners have subsequently entered the zone, ignoring China’s new “rules”.
On Tuesday, Beijing said it had monitored the flights; its next move is awaited with some trepidation.
For Shinzo Abe, Japan’s conservative prime minister who marks one year in office next month, the Senkaku dispute is only one facet of a deteriorating east Asian security environment that is officially termed “increasingly severe” and which looks increasingly explosive as China projects its expanding military, economic and political power beyond its historical borders.
One year on, Abe’s no-nonsense response is plain: Japan must loosen the pacifist constitutional bonds that have held it in check since 1945 and stand up forcefully for its interests, its friends and its values. The way Abe tells it, Japan is back – and the tiger he is riding is dubbed Abe’s “new nationalism“.
It is no coincidence that high-level contacts with China and South Korea have been in deep freeze ever since Abe took office, while the impasse over North Korea has only deepened. Unusually, a date for this year’s trilateral summit between Japan, China and South Korea has yet to be announced.
The Beijing and Seoul governments profess to view Abe’s efforts to give Japan a bigger role on the world stage, forge security and defence ties with south-east Asian neighbours, and strengthen the US alliance as intrinsically threatening – a throwback to the bad old days of Japanese imperialism.
Abe is also charged with arrogance, chauvinism and historical revisionism, by minimising or ignoring wartime legacies such as the controversy over Korean “comfort women” who were forced into prostitution by Japanese troops during the second world war.
Addressing the UN general assembly in September, Abe set an unapologetically expansive global agenda for a newly assertive Japan. Whether the issue was Syria, nuclear proliferation, UN peacekeeping, Somali piracy, development assistance or women’s rights, Tokyo would have its say. “I will make Japan a force for peace and stability,” Abe said. “Japan will newly bear the flag of ‘proactive contribution to peace’ [his policy slogan].”
Referring to the initial success of his “Abenomics” strategy to revive the country’s economic fortunes, he went on to promise Japan would “spare no pains to get actively involved in historic challenges facing today’s world with our regained strength and capacity … The growth of Japan will benefit the world. Japan’s decline would be a loss for people everywhere.”
Just in case Beijing missed his drift, Abe spelled it out: as a global trading nation, Japan’s reinvigorated “national interest” was existentially linked to freedom of navigation and open sea lanes around the Senkakus and elsewhere. “Changes to the maritime order through the use of force or coercion cannot be condoned under any circumstances.”
Akio Takahara, professor of international relations and law at Tokyo university, said such statements made clear the Senkaku standoff was potentially precedent-setting for all the countries of the region, including Vietnam and the Philippines, which have their own island disputes with Beijing.
“[Senkaku] must be viewed as an international issue, not just a bilateral issue … and it is very, very dangerous. They [China] must stop the provocations,” Takahara said. “If Japan did buckle, it would send a very bad message to China’s hardliners, they would be triumphant and the modernisers and reformers would be marginalised.”
A senior government official was more terse: “We don’t want to see China patrolling the East and South China seas as though they think they own them.”
Abe’s forcefulness has produced forceful reactions. In a recent editorial, South Korea’s Joongang Daily, lambasted him as “one of the most rightwing politicians in Japan in decades“. It continued: “Buoyed by the nationalist mood sweeping Japanese society since Abe took the helm of the once-pacifist nation, [rightwing politicians] are increasingly regressing to a militarist path … As a result, the political situation of north-east Asia is becoming shakier than ever.”
Pure hyperbole, say Abe’s defenders. Tensions were high primarily as a result of China’s aggressive bid for hegemonic regional leadership, a senior foreign ministry official insisted, while describing the antagonistic South Korean leadership’s anti-Japan behaviour as “strange” and “emotional”.
Abe’s premise, said government spokeswoman Kuni Sato, was that, after years of restraint, “Japan can now do what other countries do within international law”. What Abe was doing was “necessary and justified” in the face of China’s diplomatic hostility and rapid military buildup, said Yuji Miyamoto, a former ambassador to Beijing.
“Only three countries don’t understand this policy – China, South Korea and North Korea,” said Nobuo Kishi, the prime minister’s younger brother and senior vice-minister for foreign affairs. In contrast, the members of Asean (Association of South-East Asian Nations) were mostly on board.
Abe’s advancing security agenda suggests his second year in office will be even more rumbustious than the first. It includes creating a national security council modelled on the US and British versions (David Cameron and William Hague have offered their advice), a new national security strategy, revamped defence guidelines, and a harsh state secrets law.
Criticised by the UN and the main opposition parties, the proposed law threatens long jail sentences for whistleblowers and journalists who break its vague, catchall provisions. Abe has increased the defence budget for the first time in years, is overseeing an expansion of naval and coastguard capabilities (Japan’s maritime self-defence force, or navy, is already the second biggest in Asia by tonnage), and has gathered expert support for a reinterpretation of article 9 of Japan’s pacifist constitution to allow “collective self-defence” – meaning that if the US or another ally is attacked, Japanese armed forces will join the fight.
On the diplomatic front, Abe is busily wooing his Asian neighbours. Having visited all 10 members of Asean in his first year, he will host a gala Asean summit in Tokyo on 13 December that looks very much like an anti-China jamboree.
He comprehensively outflanked Beijing during this month’s typhoon emergency in the Philippines, sending troops, ships and generous amounts of aid, the biggest single overseas deployment of Japanese forces since 1945 – while China was widely criciticised for donating less financial aid that the Swedish furniture chain Ikea.
Abe is also providing 10 coastguard vessels to the Philippines to help ward off Chinese incursions. Improved security and military-to-military co-operation with Australia and India form part of his plans.
Officials insist, meanwhile, that the US relationship remains the bedrock of Japanese security. Taking full advantage of Barack Obama’s so-called “pivot to Asia”, Abe’s government agreed a revised pact in October with the US secretary of state, John Kerry, and the defence secretary, Chuck Hagel, providing for a “more robust alliance and greater shared responsibilities“.
With a wary eye on China, the pact envisages enhanced co-operation in ballistic missile defence, arms development and sales, intelligence sharing, space and cyber warfare, joint military training and exercises, plus the introduction of advanced radar and drones. Japan is also expected to buy American advanced weapons systems such as the F35 fighter-bomber and two more Aegis-equipped missile defence destroyers.
Washington is positively purring with pleasure over Abe’s tougher stance. “The US welcomed Japan’s determination to contribute proactively to regional and global peace and security,” a joint statement said. The pact reflected “shared values of democracy, the rule of law, free and open markets and respect for human rights”. But Abe’s opponents fear the country is developing a new military mindset.
What the Japanese public makes of what seems to amount overall to a landmark post-war shift in the scope and ambition of Japan’s regional and global engagement is hard to gauge.
China’s disapproval ratings are a record high 94%, but a big majority (80%) of people polled also believe good bilateral relations are important. Many cling to the old pacifist verities but many others now understand the world around Japan is changing fast and unpredictably, said Kuni Miyake of Tokyo’s Canon Institute for Global Studies.
“Despite his conservative, hawkish image, Abe is in fact a very pragmatic, reasonable politician. But he is also proud of Japan and he is saying it’s OK to be proud,” Miyake said.
“A huge power shift is going on in east Asia. Before Abe and the new era, we were day-dreaming. We thought we could follow pacifism, not threaten anybody, have no army, and the world would leave us alone. We were in a bubble. And it worked because of the US alliance, not because of pacifism.
“The next generation doesn’t believe that … People are aware that prayers for peace are not enough. We have to deter many potential aggressors. If China insists on being a Pacific power and challenges the US-Japan hegemony at sea, a showdown is inevitable,” Miyake said.
For Takahara, the opposite holds true. There were limits to what Japan could do when faced by China’s rising power and Abe’s approach was fraught with peril. “There is really no choice but to use diplomacy and dialogue to mend ties with China,” Takahara said.
“Abe is very rightwing by traditional measures. He is a historical revisionist at heart. He would really like to visit the Yasukuni shrine where Japan’s war dead are remembered. He is a nationalist … But Abe won’t succeed with his ‘new nationalism’. We are a post-industrial society. There’s no way the youngsters will go along.”
Caso aviões, apesar de avisos, invadam a zona de defesa aérea criada pela China no Mar da China Oriental, pilotos chineses teriam o direito de abatê-los.
China May Shoot Down Hostile Airplanes in New Air Defense Zone
The Diplomat – 27/11/2013 – por Zachary Keck
In an interview with China’s state media on Tuesday, a PLA Air Force general warned that Beijing has a right to shoot down hostile aircraft within its recently created East China Sea Air Defense Identification System (ADIZ).
According to South China Morning Post, PLA Air Force major general Qiao Liang explained in an interview that the new ADIZ “provides communication and air force identification between countries, allowing them to identify whether the opposite side is hostile. But if the subject intruding into the zone disregarded any warning, our pilots have the right to shoot it down.”
SCMP said the interview was with China News Service, China’s second largest state-run news agency. According to its Wikipedia page, China News Service caters primarily to Chinese living in Taiwan, Macau and other places abroad.
Qiao did in fact give an interview with China’s News Service on Tuesday, although The Diplomat has not been able to track down the precise article that the SCMP report references. Interestingly, the English-language website contained portions of Qiao’s interview, although his quotes on this website are more conciliatory in nature.
As previously reported, on Saturday morning China Defense Ministry announced it was establishing an ADIZ in the East China Sea which overlapped with Japanese and South Korean ADIZs and covered rocks and isles that Beijing disputes with these two neighbors. When asked about the fact that the new ADIZ overlapped with Japan’s existing one, Major General Qiao responded, “In reverse, we could also argue their zone is overlapping ours.”
The United States and Japan quickly vowed to not recognize China’s demands over the ADIZ, which Washington accused China of using to change the regional status quo.
On Tuesday it was reported that two B-52s had flown through the East China Sea ADIZ without identifying themselves to China on Monday. Qiao’s threats appear to have predated public reports about the B-52 flights, although as a member of the PLA Qiao might have been tipped off about by Chinese military intelligence. In fact, Beijing claimed on Wednesday that it had monitored the B-52s flight.
Many analysts question whether China has the capabilities to enforce the rules it announced for the East China Sea ADIZ.
Em reposta à criação chinesa de uma área defesa que engloba zonas marítimas disputadas, Japão anuncia que também considera expandir sua zona aérea na região e a instalação de bases aéreas.
Japan considers expanding its air zone
Japan Today / AFP – 27/11/2013
Japan is considering expanding its air defense identification zone in the Pacific Ocean, a report said Wednesday, as Tokyo and Beijing lock horns over Chinese claims to control airspace above the East China Sea.
The defense ministry is also mulling stationing fighter jets at bases in the area, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported, without citing sources.
The report comes after China declared de facto control over a swathe of airspace, including above Tokyo-managed islands at the center of a decades-long dispute between the world’s second- and third-largest economies.
It also come after the recent launch by Beijing of its first aircraft carrier, and as the Chinese navy pushes out into the western Pacific.
A spokesman at the defense ministry told AFP that the government is “determined to protect Japan’s territory… but… we are not in a situation that requires expansion of Japan’s ADIZ (Air Defense Identification Zone).”
Japan’s ADIZ, which surrounds its four main islands and the southernmost Okinawan island chain, including the islets disputed with China, was established in 1969.
Japan requires flight plans when airplanes fly through the zone only if they are heading for Japanese territory.
The Ogasawara island chain has previously not been thought to be under threat from foreign encroachment, but China’s apparent power grab set off discussion among ruling party officials over its inclusion in Japan’s ADIZ zone, the Yomiuri said.
Estados Unidos enviam dois bombardeiros estratégicos B-52 sobrevoarem espaço aéreo próximo a Okinawa que a China reinvindica. Atitude é vista como sendo em resposta à criação, por parte da China, de uma área de defesa aérea no Mar da China Oriental que inclui as ilhas Diaoyu/Senkaku, cuja soberania é disputada com o Japão.
Dos B-52 de EE UU sobrevuelan el espacio aéreo reclamado por China
El País – 26/11/2013 – por Yolanda Monge
Dos bombarderos B-52 norteamericanos han realizado hoy martes una misión de entrenamiento rutinaria sobre un espacio aéreo que desde el pasado fin de semana reclama China, cuando Pekín anunció, además de su intención de controlar unas islas que se disputa con Japón en el Mar de China Oriental, su determinación de declarar una nueva “zona de identificación aérea”. Según el Pentágono, las maniobras estaban planeadas mucho antes de que China cambiara las coordenadas creando esa nueva zona de defensa aérea y continuará ejerciendo su derecho a volar sobre lo que considera espacio aéreo internacional.
A este respecto, la Casa Blanca ha emitido hoy martes un comunicado en el que se refiere a la crisis abierta entre Japón y China pero en el que no menciona el sobrevuelo de sus aviones. En el comunicado ha expresado su deseo de que Pekín y Tokio resuelvan diplomáticamente su disputa en torno a las islas cuya soberanía reclaman ambos países. “La política anunciada por China durante el fin de semana es innecesariamente provocadora”, ha asegurado el portavoz de la Casa Blanca, Josh Earnest, en una rueda de prensa en California, donde se encuentra el presidente estadounidense, Barack Obama. “Estos son los tipos de problemas que no deberían abordarse con amenazas o lenguaje provocador, si no que pueden y deben ser resueltos de forma diplomática” ha finalizado Earnest.
Un portaaviones norteamericano y una flotilla japonesa de barcos de guerra fondearán mañana miércoles en la zona marítima ahora reclamada por China, en lo que avanza la postura que tanto Washington como el primer ministro de Japón, Shinzo Abe, van a tomar a la hora de enfrentar la crisis abierta por China. Pocas horas después de que China anunciase el pasado fin de semana el control de las aguas donde se encuentran las dos islas en disputa (Sensaku, en Japón; y Diaoyu, en China), el secretario de Defensa norteamericano, Chuck Hagel, emitió un comunicado en el que mostró su profunda preocupación por la decisión de Pekín. “Vemos este movimiento como un intento desestabilizador de alterar el estatus quo en la región”, declaró el responsable de Defensa. “La decisión unilateral incrementa el riesgo de confusión y de errores de cálculo”, finalizó Hagel.
Pekín insiste en que esa zona marítima es una fuente de recursos energéticos y del sector pesquero que pertenece a China, lo que ha elevado en los últimos días la tensión –ya habitual- entre China y Japón, que consideró la declaración china como “inaplicable”.
Según el portavoz del Pentágono, el coronel Steven Warren, Defensa no informó al Gobierno chino de que se iban a efectuar los sobrevuelos”. La misión se cumplió “sin incidentes”, con los dos bombarderos –desarmados- en el espacio declarado de forma unilateral por China como “zona de identificación de defensa aérea, durante “menos de una hora”, declaró Warren.
Hoy martes, el primer ministro de Japón ha definido la postura que adoptará en este altercado -que puede escalar hasta convertirse en un conflicto armado imprevisto- al declarar que tomará “los pasos necesarios contra cualquier intento de alterar el estatus quo mediante la fuerza”, así como manifestó su determinación de “defender el espacio aéreo y marítimo” de su país. El desafío chino supone un reto para el partido conservador del primer ministro, que llegó al poder en 2012 con la promesa de dejar de tener un papel deferente en términos militares y reclamar su derecho a su propia defensa.
Neste sábado (23/11), a China anunciou a criação de uma área de defesa aérea no Mar da China Oriental, que inclui as ilhas Diaoyu/Senkaku, cuja soberania é disputada com o Japão. Tóquio já protestou.
China cria zona de defesa aérea que inclui ilhas disputadas com Japão
Terra / AFP – 23/11/2013
A China anunciou neste sábado a criação de uma área de defesa aérea no Mar da China Oriental, incluindo as ilhas controladas pelo Japão, mas reivindicadas por Pequim, provocando protestos de Tóquio.
Todos os aviões que cruzarem esta nova zona de defesa aérea deverão cumprir certas obrigações, sob pena de uma intervenção militar, indicou o Ministério da Defesa chinês em um comunicado.
Entre outras coisas, as aeronaves deverão fornecer seu plano de voo detalhado, indicar claramente a sua nacionalidade e manter comunicação de rádio de maneira que possibilite uma “resposta rápida e adequada aos pedidos de identificação” das autoridades chinesas.
O traçado desta zona, de acordo com um mapa publicado no site do Ministério da Defesa, cobre grande parte do Mar da China Oriental, entre a Coreia do Sul e Taiwan, incluindo as ilhas Senkaku, controladas pelo Japão, mas reivindicadas pela China sob o nome de Diaoyu.
A zona cobre águas territoriais japonesas, o que poderia acirrar ainda mais as tensões entres os dois países.
O Japão reagiu ao anúncio de Pequim, e o ministro das Relações Exteriores expressou “seu vigoroso protesto”, segundo a agência de notícias Kyodo.
“As Forças Armadas chinesas adotarão medidas defensivas de emergência em reação às aeronaves que não cooperarem com os procedimentos de identificação ou recusarem cumprir as instruções”, advertiu o ministério chinês.
Estas regras entram em vigor neste sábado às 2h GMT (0h no horário de Brasília), segundo o comunicado.
Um porta-voz do ministério chinês da Defesa, Yang Yujun, assegurou, no entanto, que a criação desta zona corresponde à “práticas internacionais ordinárias” e tem como objetivo “proteger a soberania do Estado, manter a segurança das terras e águas territoriais, e a ordem na navegação aérea”.
“Este tipo de zona, determinada segundo os limites do espaço aéreo territorial, permite a um país identificar, observar e controlar os aviões” antes que entrem no espaço nacional, explicou, ressaltando que o Japão estabeleceu uma zona parecida em 1969.
Segundo a agência oficial Xinhua, desde a criação da primeira zona de identificação de defesa aérea pelos Estados Unidos em 1950, cerca de vinte países seguiram seus passos. “É uma medida necessária para assegurar o direito legítimo da China de se defender. (Esta zona) não visa ninguém em particular e não afetará a liberdade de circulação no espaço aéreo em questão”, afirmou em uma entrevista publicada no site do ministério.
Mas esta decisão de Pequim pode aumentar os riscos de um confronto imprevisto nas ilhas de Senkaku. Na sexta-feira, quatro navios da Guarda Costeira chinesa entraram nas águas em torno das ilhas.
O ministro japonês da Defesa, Itsunori Onodera, considerou no final de outubro que essas incursões chinesas ameaçavam a paz na região.
Há um ano, as relações entre o Japão e a China se deterioram consideravelmente devido a este conflito territorial. Em setembro, o Japão nacionalizou três das cinco ilhas do arquipélago e provocou uma onda de manifestações anti-japonesas, por vezes violentas, em várias cidades chinesas.
Desde então, Pequim frequentemente envia navios para patrulhar as águas territoriais destas ilhas, localizadas 200 km ao nordeste de Taiwan e 400 km a oeste de Okinawa (sul do Japão).
Ministério da Defesa da China disse que entrou com uma reclamação oficial a respeito da assim chamada “provocação perigosa” do Japão, que seguiu de perto exercícios militares chineses realizados no Pacífico Ocidental.
China slams ‘dangerous provocation’ by Japan by shadowing sea drill
Reuters – 31/10/2013
China’s Defence Ministry said on Thursday it has lodged a formal diplomatic complaint over what it called “dangerous provocation” by Japan for shadowing Chinese military exercises in the western Pacific.
Sino-Japanese ties have been strained for months by a dispute over tiny islands in the East China Sea believed to be surrounded by energy-rich waters. They have also been overshadowed by what China says is Japan’s refusal to admit to atrocities committed by Japanese soldiers in China between 1931 and 1945.
Defence Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said that a Japanese naval and air patrol disrupted a Chinese live ammunition military drill last Friday, without giving the precise location.
Yang also said Japanese patrols of ships and aircraft were gathering information about the exercises.
“Not only did this interfere with our normal exercises, but endangered the safety of our ships and aircraft, which could have led to a miscalculation or mishap or other sudden incident,” Yang told a news briefing.
“This is a highly dangerous provocation, and China’s Defence Ministry has made solemn representations to the Japanese side,” he added, according to a transcript of his remarks on the ministry’s website.
Diplomatic complaints are normally lodged by the Foreign Ministry, so the Defence Ministry’s unusual move signals the military’s anger.
A former Japanese military officer told Reuters this week that the situation in the East China Sea was worrisome.
“As the Chinese are getting more active, we have more opportunities to confront each other,” he said. “If something happens accidentally, it may very seriously deteriorate the bilateral relationship.”
Ties between the two countries took a hit in September 2012 after Japan bought two of the disputed islets from a private owner, setting off a wave of protests and boycotts of Japanese goods across China.
China on Saturday criticized a Japanese media report saying Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had approved a policy for Japan to shoot down foreign drones that ignore warnings to exit its airspace.
Abe has said Japan is ready to take a more assertive stance towards China.
Ministro da Defesa do Japão disse na última terça-feira (29/10) que Pequim está comprometendo a paz quanto à disputa sobre as ilhas Senkaku-Diaoyu. China avisou há alguns dias que a derrubada de seus drones na região constitituiria um ato de guerra.
China’s behavior jeopardizing peace, Onodera says
Japan Today – 30/10/2013
Beijing is jeopardizing peace in a row with Tokyo over disputed islands, Japan’s defense minister said Tuesday, days after China warned any bid to shoot down its drones would constitute “an act of war”.
Itsunori Onodera’s comments are likely to further heighten fears that the two countries could be sliding toward conflict over the outcrops in the East China Sea and come on the day that China showed off its fleet of nuclear-powered submarines.
“I believe the intrusions by China in the territorial waters around the Senkaku islands fall in the ‘gray zone’ (between) peacetime and an emergency situation,” Onodera told reporters in Tokyo.
The two sides have been at loggerheads over the island chain, which China claims and calls the Diaoyus, since Tokyo bought three of them from their private Japanese owner in September 2012.
But the comments from Onodera following those from China’s defense ministry at the weekend, appear to have taken the verbal fisticuffs to a new level.
On Monday, China’s coast guard sent four vessels into the waters around the islands, where they stayed for two hours, shadowed by their Japanese counterparts.
That came after three consecutive days in which Tokyo scrambled jets to meet Chinese aircraft as they traversed a strait leading to the Pacific. They did not enter Japanese airspace.
“They were two early-warning aircraft and two bombers,” Onodera told reporters on Tuesday.
“It was unusual that so many aircraft flew between the Okinawan main island and Miyako island. We consider that it is also very unusual that it occurred for three days in a row.
“We understand that it is one of the trends showing that China is now vigorously expanding its areas of activities, including into the open ocean.”
Last week it was reported that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had given the green light to plans to fire on any unmanned aircraft that did not heed warnings to leave Japanese airspace.
The report came after an officially unidentified drone was logged on a trajectory towards southern Japan. Privately, policy-makers said there was no doubt it had been Chinese.
China’s defense ministry said on Saturday that Japan’s firing on its aircraft “would constitute a serious provocation, an act of war of sorts”.
“We would have to take firm countermeasures, and all consequences would be the responsibility of the side that caused the provocation,” it said.
Observers warn that the frequent presence of armed vessels and aircraft in the area raises the risk of a confrontation, and point out that a minor slip by a crew member on either side could quickly escalate.
Akira Kato, professor of defense and security at Obirin University in Tokyo said the two sides appeared to be painting themselves into a corner, and without a diplomatic channel of communication, things could only get worse.
“Since China is unlikely to tone down its stance, tensions are likely to increase further,” he said.
“For Tokyo, the Japan-U.S. security alliance is the fallback,” he said, referring to the security pact under which the United States must come to Japan’s aid if it is attacked. “The case will be a crucial test to see if the alliance can function.”
The rhetoric from Japan on Tuesday came as Beijing put its nuclear submarines on display, with state media touting the move as unprecedented and necessary to show other countries the full extent of China’s strike capabilities.
Tokyo announced last week that it was planning a huge drill on an island hundreds of kilometers away from the disputed archipelago, starting Friday and intended to sharpen the skills of 34,000 troops in defending—and retaking—distant territory.
The recent maneuvers are the latest in a long line of actions and reactions in the bitter scrap with China, which is putatively about the uninhabited islands but is fueled by historical animosities and nationalism.
Japan says it incorporated previously unclaimed islands in 1895. China says it has owned them for centuries and their 19th Century annexation by Japan heralded the start of expansionist imperialism that culminated in World War II.
Membro de alto escalão do governo chinês visitou secretamente o Japão para negociar a respeito da disputa territorial no Mar da China Oriental e tentar melhorar as relações entre os dois países.
Secret Japan-China talks held over island dispute
Japan Today – 16/10/2013
A senior Chinese government official has secretly visited Japan for talks with Japanese officials aimed at improving bilateral relations damaged by an ongoing territorial row, a report said Tuesday.
The talks involving a high-ranking official from the Chinese foreign ministry’s Asian division were thought to have been held in early October, Japanese news agency Jiji Press reported from Beijing quoting Chinese government sources.
A high-ranking official from the Japanese foreign ministry attended the meeting, the report said.
A Japanese foreign ministry official declined comment on the content of the report, saying: “Japan and China have been making various exchanges at various levels.”
The Tokyo-Beijing ties took a nosedive in September last year over the ownership of the Japan-controlled Senkaku islands, which China also claims and calls the Diaoyus.
The row over the islands in the East China Sea has led to warnings of a possible armed confrontation.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe managed a brief encounter and shook the hand of Chinese President Xi Jinping last week on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific summit in Indonesia. But China rejected a formal sit-down meeting between them due to the island dispute.
Abe has not held formal talks with Chinese and South Korean leaders since taking office last December. Tokyo also has a dispute with Seoul over a group of South Korea-controlled isles.
The legacy of Japan’s 20th century wartime aggression has also been souring Tokyo’s ties with the neighbors.