The US has asked China to avoid tension in international airspace after a close encounter between Chinese and Japanese military jets in the disputed East China Sea.
“Any attempt to interfere with freedom of overflight in international airspace raises regional tensions and increases the risk of miscalculation, confrontation and unintended incidents,” State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said.
The US, she said, has seen the reports of Chinese and Japanese aircraft in close proximity and in the areas of overlapping air defense identification zone from both sides.
“We also urge all States to ensure that they respect the safety of aircraft in flight,” she said.
“We do not accept China’s declaration of an ADIZ over the East China Sea and urge China not to implement it,” she said.
“We continue to urge China to work with other countries to establish confidence-building measures, including emergency communications channels, which can address dangers and lower tensions,” Psaki said.
Earlier, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel said relations with China are an important component of America’s policy toward the region.
So let me share the Administration’s approach to our bilateral relationship.
“How have we pursued the rebalance with China? By committing to develop a bilateral relationship where we expand areas of cooperation and constructively manage differences. By agreeing that both sides must continue to actively develop bilateral relations and avoid a drift toward strategic rivalry,” he said.
“And by strengthening our engagement with China at all levels, the helps to promote mutual understanding about each other’s intentions, thereby reducing the risk of miscalculation,” he added.
China, he said, should strengthen its contributions to the international system, accepting its constraints to gain its far greater benefits.
“The US accepts constraints – we lose some trade cases in the WTO, and some votes at the UN, but we accept that, because the benefits far outweigh the costs,” Russel added.