U.S urges China hotline amid air zone tensions

Washington, Dec 7, 2013: The United States has urged China to set up an emergency hotline with Japan and South Korea to avoid confusion in its newly-declared airspace.

Washington does not recognise Beijing’s air defence identification zone (ADIZ), which extends over the East China Sea and islands disputed with Japan, and has called on China not to press ahead with its implementation.

“As we work through this process, they need to do a few things right now to immediately lower tensions,” deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said.

“China should work with other countries, including Japan and South Korea, to establish confidence-building measures, including emergency communications channels to address the dangers that its recent announcement has created,” she added.

Washington has said that its military aircraft in the area will ignore Beijing’s demands to file flight plans with Chinese authorities, but has urged commercial airlines to stick by Federal Aviation Administration guidelines to stay safe.

Harf said one of the potential dangers was that because the zone spread into airspace administered by other countries, Beijing had “created a situation in which two different authorities claim to give orders to civilian aircraft, which could potentially create confusion.”

(News Agency)