China bolsters East China Sea claim, warns of 'defensive measures'

November 23, 2013 09:22

China on Saturday laid claim to a block of airspace over islands at the heart of a dispute with Japan in the East China Sea, threatening "defensive emergency measures" against aircraft that do not comply with new identification rules.

The Xinhua news agency published a map and coordinates of the area It called "the East China Sea Air Defence Identification Zone" as well as Defence Ministry identification rules for aircraft in the area, which covers most of the Sea.

The rules are likely to anger Japan.

Ties between the Asian powers have been strained for months by the dispute over the islands, called the Diaoyu in China and the Senkaku in Japan, which are believed to be surrounded by energy-rich waters.

Patrol ships from both countries have been shadowing each other near the islets, raising fears that a confrontation could develop into a clash.

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