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

China on Saturday laid claim toa block of airspace over islands at the heart of a dispute withJapan in the East China Sea, threatening "defensive emergencymeasures" against aircraft that do not comply with newidentification rules.

The Xinhua news agency published a map and coordinates ofthe area It called "the East China Sea Air DefenceIdentification Zone" as well as Defence Ministry identificationrules 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 monthsby the dispute over the islands, called the Diaoyu in China andthe Senkaku in Japan, which are believed to be surrounded byenergy-rich waters.

Patrol ships from both countries have been shadowing eachother near the islets, raising fears that a confrontation coulddevelop into a clash.

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