Tuesday, November 26, 2013

U.S. Directly Challenges China's Air Defense Zone (Pair of American B-52 Bombers Fly Over)

WASHINGTON—A pair of American B-52 bombers flew over a disputed island chain in the East China Sea without informing Beijing, U.S. officials said Tuesday, in a direct challenge to China and its establishment of an expanded air-defense zone.

The planes flew out of Guam and entered the new Chinese Air Defense Identification Zone at about 7 p.m. Washington time Monday, according to a U.S. official.

The official said the flight was a training mission and the bombers were not armed. The flight was first reported by The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.

The Chinese announced over the weekend they were expanding their air defense identification zone to include the islands, known as Diaoyu in Chinese and Senkaku in Japanese. Japan also claims ownership.

For more on background see my original story at China creates air defense zone over Japan-controlled islands in East China Sea.