China 'highly vigilant' of Japan jets in S. China Sea
ReutersBEIJING--China is “highly vigilant” about Japanese jet fighter flights over islands claimed by both countries and Japan must bear responsibility for any consequences, Chinese military and maritime officials said on Thursday.
December 28, 2012, 12:25 am TWN
The officials, speaking a day after a new hawkish Japanese prime minister took office, were responding to Japan sending jet fighters several times in the past two weeks to intercept Chinese patrol planes approaching airspace above the islands.
The situation in the volatile East China Sea region has severely strained relations between Beijing and Tokyo.
“We will decisively fulfill our tasks and missions while coordinating with relevant departments ... so as to safeguard China's maritime law enforcement activities and protect the country's territorial integrity and maritime rights,” Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun told a news conference.
Japan's Defense Ministry has acknowledged scrambling F-15 jets on several occasions in recent weeks to intercept Chinese marine surveillance planes approaching the islands, called the Diaoyu in Chinese and the Senkaku by Japan.