China has sent warplanes to its newly declared air defence zone in the East China Sea, state media reports. The vast zone, announced last week, covers territory claimed by China, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea.

China has said all planes transiting the zone must file flight plans and identify themselves, or face “defensive emergency measures”.

But Japan, South Korea and the US have all since flown military aircraft through the area.

China’s state news agency Xinhua quoted an air force colonel as saying the the warplanes had carried out routine patrols.

The zone includes islands known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, which are claimed by Japan, China and Taiwan.

Japan controls the islands, which have been the focus of a bitter and long-running dispute between Japan and China.

The zone also covers a submerged rock that South Korea says forms part of its territory.

China’s move has been condemned by the US and Japan.

America, which called the move a “destabilising attempt to alter the status quo in the region”, flew two unarmed B-52 bombers through the zone unannounced on Tuesday.

South Korea’s military said one of their planes also entered the zone on Tuesday.

On Thursday, Japan said its aircraft had conducted routine “surveillance activity” over the East China Sea zone. see more

source: voice of russia