China’s military forces are showing no signs of increased alert status or readiness for conflict despite high tensions with Japan over Beijing’s air defense zone overlapping U.S. and Japanese air defense coverage of the disputed Senkaku islands.
China’s military imposed a destabilizing air defense zone over the East China Sea without consulting the United States, and top Pentagon leaders said Wednesday there have been no contacts with their Chinese counterparts since the zone was set up Nov. 23.
The Pentagon invoked a U.S. defense treaty with Japan and warned China on Saturday that its declaration of an air defense zone over the East China Sea is increasing the danger of military conflict.
The United States and Japan announced on Thursday that defense relations are being strengthened for the first time in 16 years, including new force deployments and greater cooperation against missile and cyber attacks.
Japan scrambled fighter jets Thursday after Russian bombers breached Japanese airspace, Agence France-Presse reported.
Aggressive moves by China to assert territorial claims run the risk of “miscalculations” but are also helping Washington strengthen ties with other countries in the region, the general who oversees U.S. air forces in the Pacific said Monday.
“Being fairly aggressive runs the risk of creating the potential for miscalculation,” Air Force General Herbert Carlisle told defense reporters in Washington. “That’s something we think about every day.”
A Chinese Naval fleet was seen on Sunday sailing through an international strait between Russia and Japan for the first time, Agence France-Presse reported.
China’s military voiced alarm over a recent joint exercise with Japan that showed off a new Marine Corps tiltrotor aircraft in war games Beijing said were preparation for an assault against China, according to military and intelligence officials.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned China against any attempt to land on the disputed Senkaku Islands, saying Japan would respond with force.