US, Chinese Tensions Continue to Rise

Vice President Joe Biden is expected to convey US concerns over China’s newly declared air defense zone over parts of the East China Sea during his visit to Asia this week, announced a senior administration official who spoke to reporters via teleconference on Nov. 27. The visit “also allows the vice president, I think, to make the broader point that there is an emerging pattern of behavior by China that is unsettling to China’s own neighbor’s, and raising questions about how China operates in international space and how China deals with areas of disagreement with its neighbors,” said the official. China claims it closely monitored two unarmed B-52 bombers as they flew through the disputed air defense zone over the Senkaku/Diayou Islands last week, reported CNN. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters Nov. 27 the aircraft were participating in a pre-planned military exercise. The US aircraft were in the ADIZ for about an hour and the pilots did not identify themselves upon entering the airspace, despite Chinese threats to “adopt defensive emergency measures” if newly declared identification rules are not followed, reported CNN, which cited a US official who declined to be named because of the “sensitivity of the situation.” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has said the Chinese action will not affect US military operations in the region.