On Tuesday, two U.S. B-52 bombers flew over the East China Sea as part of a previously planned training exercise; however, no notification was given to Beijing. In the past, the lack of notification may not have raised any eyebrows. Unfortunately, that is not the case this time. The training exercise occurred in the aftermath of China's recent attempt to expand territories within the country's "air defense zone." According to China, any aircraft entering into this newly-restricted territory must notify Chinese authorities or become subjected to emergency military action.
These two U.S. aircraft departed from the home base of Guam, and then flew into the "air defense zone" before ultimately returning to Guam. The planes remained in the area for less than an hour. Discussions are currently centered on the U.S.'s lack of acknowledging the new region in which China has asserted claim over, bringing debates of potential intercontinental-defiance. China did not respond to this recent flight into the territory.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest, though not willing to comment on the incident in detail, alluded to his interpretation of the event. "It continues to be our view that the policy announced by the Chinese over weekend is unnecessarily inflammatory and has a destabilizing impact on the region," Earnest said.
Many think that China is working for a unique political position in relation to surrounding countries, and not necessarily concerned with the actions of the United States. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki best explained the likely perspective. "This will raise regional tensions and increase the risk of miscalculation, confrontation and accidents," Psaki said.
According to security expert Denny Roy, "The Chinese can now start counting and reporting what they call Japanese violations, while arguing that the Chinese side has shown great restraint by not exercising what they will call China's right to shoot, and arguing further that China cannot be so patient indefinitely."
China has been in the midst of several other country-wide revisions to operating systems beyond national defense, such as changes to economic policies.[Image Via Wikimedia Commons]