Japan and China yesterday accused each other’s air forces of dangerous behavior over the East China Sea, with Japan saying Chinese aircraft came within a few dozen meters of its warplanes.
Japan’s defense minister accused Beijing of going “over the top” in its approach to disputed territory.
China’s defense ministry said Japanese planes had carried out “dangerous” actions during Chinese joint maritime exercises with Russia.
Tensions have been running high between China and its neighbors over Beijing’s assertive stance on claiming land and sea territory.
The Japanese Ministry of Defense said Chinese SU-27 fighters on Saturday came as close as 50m to a Japanese OP-3C surveillance plane near disputed islands, which Taiwan also claims, and within 30m of a YS-11EB electronic intelligence aircraft.
“Closing in while flying normally over the high seas is impossible,” Japanese Minister of Defense Itsunori Onodera told reporters in comments broadcast on TV Asahi. “This is a close encounter that is outright over the top.”
Onodera said Japan conveyed its concerns to the Chinese side through diplomatic channels. He also said the Chinese planes were carrying missiles.
A ministry official said it was the closest Chinese warplanes had ever come to Japan Self-Defense Force aircraft.
The Chinese Ministry of Defense said its jets were scrambled in the East China Sea on Saturday after Japanese aircraft entered its air defense zone during maritime exercises with Russia.
The ministry said the Japanese aircraft had entered the zone despite “no fly” notices issued ahead of the exercises. China declared its air defense identification zone last year, despite protests by Japan and the US.
“Japanese military planes intruded on the exercise’s airspace without permission and carried out dangerous actions in a serious violation of international laws and standards, which could have easily caused a misunderstanding and even led to a mid-air accident,” the statement said.
China had proposed urgent talks, it said, and demanded that Japan “respect the lawful rights of China’s and Russia’s navies ... and stop all reconnaissance and interference activities. Otherwise, Japan will bear any and all consequences from this.”
COMMUNICATION: A US representative said that Starshield is inactive in and around Taiwan, which could put US military personnel at risk in the Western Pacific in a conflict Space Exploration Technologies Corp (SpaceX) might have contravened its Pentagon contract by not providing access to its satellite communication network Starshield in and around Taiwan, a letter from a US House of Representatives committee to the company said. In September last year, the US Department of Defense awarded SpaceX a one-year contract for Starshield access, worth US$100 million. A few months before that, the Pentagon also commissioned SpaceX’s Starlink satellite network to be used by Ukrainian forces amid Russia’s invasion. Starshield is a derivative of Starlink intended for military use. SpaceX has long worked closely with the US military and intelligence agencies, which
TWO REPORTS: The body called on EU states to support the meaningful participation of Taiwan in international organizations, as well as closer cooperation with the nation The European Parliament has backed deepening ties with Taiwan and voiced concern about heightened tension across the Taiwan Strait in reports on two major security policies, which include a passage denying that Taiwan is subordinate to China. The parliament adopted the annual report on the implementation of the Common Foreign and Security Policy in a vote of 338 in favor, 86 against and 122 abstentions during a plenary session from Monday to yesterday. It also passed the annual report on the implementation of the Common Security and Defense Policy in a vote of 350 in favor, 91 against and 96 abstentions. “Neither Taiwan
WAR GAMES: While US and Japanese militaries practice coordinating troops to stage landings, Taiwan is next month to test artillery and uncrewed aerial surveillance vehicles The US Marine Corps and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force have begun a military drill to simulate the retaking of outlying islands in Kyushu and Okinawa Prefecture in a conflict scenario, the Sankei Shimbun reported yesterday. The drill, commonly known as “Iron Fist,” has been held in the US since 2006 before being moved to Japan for the first time this year, it said. The large-scale operations are conducted with a possible “Taiwan emergency” in mind, aiming to keep China in check, it said. Unlike last year’s exercises, which focused on on-site training, this year’s maneuvers include strategy formulation and command for each
NEVER FORGET: Feb. 28 is a day to demand justice and redress, and remember the long, hard road Taiwanese walked to democracy, Tainan Mayor Huang Wei-che said President-elect William Lai (賴清德) yesterday said he would work to safeguard the nation’s security and democracy to ensure freedom and economic prosperity, and that the tragic events of the 228 Incident “never happen in Taiwan again.” The Incident refers to the indiscriminate killing of a person in a crowd on Feb. 27, 1947, and the gunning down by the then-Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government of protesters at a resulting demonstration the next day. It was followed by a brutal crackdown. Estimates of the number of eventual deaths vary from 10,000 to more than 30,000. The Incident was closely followed by the White