6:17 pm | Friday, November 29th, 2013
MANILA, Philippines – The European Union (EU) on Friday called for calm over East Asia after China established an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) and which the United States and its key allies refused to recognize by sending airplanes and defying China’s rules.
“The EU calls upon all parties to take steps to calm the situation, to promote trust building measures and reach out diplomatically to seek peaceful, cooperative solutions according to international law, in order to defuse tensions and resolve differences constructively,” EU High representative Catherine Ashton said in a statement.
China had earlier announced the establishment of the East China Sea ADIZ covering the airspace above waters in between its coast and Japan. Disputed islands in the waters between the two countries were covered in the zone.
China listed rules of identification that aircraft must comply with when they enter the zone otherwise “China’s armed forces will adopt defensive emergency measures to respond to aircraft that do not cooperate,” the Ministry of National Defense said in their announcement.
The United States, however, defied the ADIZ by sending two B-52 bombers into the zone and refusing to identify themselves.
US allies in Asia, Japan and South Korea, also flew planes into the zone.
The EU said that China’s ADIZ increases “the risk of escalation” and also further raises tensions in the region. It urged all sides to exercise caution and restraint.
“With its significant interests in the region, the EU is following these developments closely. The legitimate use of sea and airspace are rights enshrined in international law and are essential for security, stability and prosperity,” Ashton said.
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