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Tensions accrued in East Asia

East Asia is getting a bit more tension that truly required. Last week, China reinforced its position over what it considers to be its air space. U.S. airlines United, American and Delta, have notified Chinese authorities of flight plans when travelling through an air defence zone Beijing has declared over the East China Sea, following U.S. government advice. The zone has raised tensions, particularly with Japan and South Korea, and is likely to dominate the agenda of a visit to Asia this week of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. He will travel to Japan, China, and South Korea and try to ease tensions, senior American officials said. China wants all aircraft there to file flight plans and identify themselves. The US, Japan and South Korea say they have flown military aircraft in the area unannounced. But China said it scrambled fighter jets on Friday. The move was to monitor US and Japanese aircraft in the zone. The establishment of the ADIZ has caused widespread anger, with the US state department calling it “an attempt to unilaterally change the status quo in the East China Sea” which will “raise regional tensions and increase the risk of miscalculation, confrontation and accidents”. Japan has instructed its aircraft not to observe China’s rules. But a number of regional commercial airlines – including Singapore Airlines, Qantas and Korean Air – have said they will comply. China announced on Thursday it was deploying warplanes in the area for surveillance and defence.

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