The US has issued a strong warning to China, calling on Beijing to avoid regional tensions by attempting to interfere with freedom of overflight in international airspace.
The State Department issued the warning on Thursday after Japan accused China of “dangerous maneuvers” above territories claimed by the two countries.
The tension between Tokyo and Beijing escalated after China declared Air Defense Identification Zone over the East China Sea last November.
“We do not accept China’s declaration of an ADIZ over the East China Sea and urge China not to implement it,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement on Thursday.
“We continue to urge China to work with other countries to establish confidence-building measures, including emergency communications channels, which can address dangers and lower tensions,” she added.
The spokeswoman also noted that her country urged all states “to ensure that they respect the safety of aircraft in flight.”
“Any attempt to interfere with freedom of overflight in international airspace raises regional tensions and increases the risk of miscalculation, confrontation, and unintended incidents,” she warned.
The Japanese defense ministry said a Chinese fighter flew near a Japanese OP-3C surveillance plane above the waters on Saturday. In a similar incident, another Chinese SU-27 fighter also flew close to a Japanese YS-11EB plane in the same airspace.
China, however, denied the allegations, saying two Japanese F-15 fighter jets came recklessly close to a Chinese Y-8 transport aircraft in an incident on November 23.