China threatens American B-1 bomber flying off South Korea: Stand off as Beijing claims US aircraft violated its ‘defense zone’

Thursday, March 23, 2017
By Paul Martin

China has accused the US plane of operating in its airspace without permission
Pliots of a Air Force B-1B Lancer bomber were forced to respond to controllers
Chinese Air Traffic officials radioed the bomber flying 70 miles from Jeju Island
The US bomber was in the controversial Chinese Air Defense Identification Zone
American and Japanese officials do not recognize the airspace China claism

23 March 2017

Chinese military officials have accused US bombers of flying too close to the country and operating in its airspace during a mission off South Korea.

Pilots of the US Air Force B-1B Lancer bomber were forced to respond to Chinese air traffic controllers during a flight about 70 nautical miles southwest of South Korea’s Jeju Island.

American officials told CNN the pilots told the Chinese controllers they were conducting ‘routine operations in international airspace and did not deviate from their flight path’.

The network revealed the tense moment was the result of the bombers had actually entered the Chinese Air Defense Identification Zone – a controversial area of sky over the East China Sea.

The airspace also covers islands claimed by Japan, and it is not officially recognized by the US.

‘Pacific Air Forces … did not recognize the Chinese Air Defense Identification Zone when it was announced in November of 2013, and does not recognize it today,’ US Pacific Air Forces spokesman Major Phil Ventura told CNN.

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