The US has told China what it thinks of its new air defence zone extending over parts of Okinawa by flying B-52 bombers through it, with the jets brazenly ignoring their duty to file flight plans with the Chinese military.
After China set up the new air defence zone, extending over the Senkaku islands and much of what was formerly undisputed Japanese and Taiwanese airspace, it demanded any aircraft passing through file flight plans with China or face “emergency defensive measures.”
Civilian airlines meekly decided to file the flight plans rather than risk being shot down (although at least two have since stopped after Japan complained).
The US response however was to fly a pair of B-52 bombers through the zone without bothering to tell the Chinese anything.
The unarmed planes flew from Guam in what was described as a “training mission,” and their flight path apparently took them directly over the Senkaku isles.
Japan for its part has called the zone “invalid” and an “escalation,” but has stopped short of challenging it directly – although its threat to shoot down any Chinese drones over the islands still stands.
China has said Japan’s complaints about the zone are “completely unreasonable,” but strangely the US military reports they offered no response to their bomber overflight.