MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, September 22nd 2018 - 01:41 UTC

Washington pledged support for Japan in dispute with China over islands

Thursday, November 28th 2013 - 11:22 UTC
Full article 18 comments
Defense Secretary Hagel assured his Japanese counterpart that the two nations' defense pact covered the Senkaku islands Defense Secretary Hagel assured his Japanese counterpart that the two nations' defense pact covered the Senkaku islands

The United States pledged support for ally Japan in a growing dispute with China over islands in the East China Sea and senior US administration officials accused Beijing of behavior that had unsettled its neighbors.

 US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel assured his Japanese counterpart in a phone call that the two nations' defense pact covered the small islands where China established a new airspace defense zone last week and commended Tokyo “for exercising appropriate restraint,” a Pentagon spokesman said.

China's declaration raised the stakes in a territorial standoff between Beijing and Tokyo over the area, which includes the tiny uninhabited islands known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.

The United States defied China's demand that airplanes flying near the islands identify themselves to Chinese authorities, flying two unarmed B-52 bombers over the islands on Tuesday without informing Beijing.

It was a sharp reminder to China that the United States still maintains a large military presence in the region despite concerns among US allies that President Barack Obama's “pivot to Asia” strategy has borne little fruit.

In a previously announced trip, Vice President Joe Biden will visit China, Japan and South Korea next week. He will seek to ease tensions heightened by China's declaration, senior administration officials said.

Washington does not take a position on the sovereignty of the islands but recognizes that Tokyo has administrative control over them and the United States is therefore bound to defend Japan in the event of an armed conflict.

Some experts say the Chinese move was aimed at eroding Tokyo's claim to administrative control over the area.

China's Defense Ministry said it had monitored the US bombers. A Pentagon spokesman said the planes had not been observed or contacted by Chinese aircraft.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • CabezaDura

    Miscalculation of the Chinese has caused them a humilliation, they cant do anything about it....They are lucky they dont have a free press at home that lets the Chinese folk know that the B-52 ignore the new Chinese airspace jurisdiction.

    Nov 28th, 2013 - 12:51 pm 0
  • A_Voice

    Take note of this paragraph Brits.....that's what I call a Special Relationship...

    “Washington does not take a position on the sovereignty of the islands but recognizes that Tokyo has administrative control over them and the United States is therefore bound to defend Japan in the event of an armed conflict.”

    Substitute Tokyo for London and Britain for Japan
    That's much more than the “Help” the Brits got with the Falklands...

    Nov 28th, 2013 - 05:05 pm 0
  • Pugol-H

    Today S. Korean & Japanese fighter aircraft flew across the zone, and surprise surprise, with no prior notification to China.

    China has been shown the Americans have “got Japans back” on this one. And as they cannot challenge the Americans in any military way, some loss of face is inevitable for them.

    Which they won’t like, and won’t stop them trying anything they think they can get away with in the future, over this and the other territories they now claim. Any of which could still easily and quickly escalate.

    Of all the now disputed territories, these islands are the closest to China and the ones over which they have the strongest (such as it is) claim. They need a result here to have much hope for any of the others.

    Somewhat like Argentina, without some sort of a result in the S. Atlantic, they’re fu*ked with their Antarctic claim. They have got to get the British out of the equation, anyway they can, too have any chance at all.

    Nov 28th, 2013 - 05:19 pm 0
Read all comments

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!