【英语中国】安倍敦促中国撤销防空识别区

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2013-11-27 09:16

小艾摘要: Shinzo Abe has urged China to ditch new measures to restrict flights over disputed territory in the East China Sea, even as Japan’s biggest commercial airlines said they were already complying with t ...
Shinzo Abe has urged China to ditch new measures to restrict flights over disputed territory in the East China Sea, even as Japan’s biggest commercial airlines said they were already complying with the rules set out on Saturday by Beijing.

Speaking in parliament yesterday, the Japanese prime minister said China’s unilateral declaration of an “air defence identification zone”, which overlaps with one already operated by Japan, was an “unenforceable” action with “no validity whatsoever to Japan”.

However, that position appeared to be undermined by a swift compliance with Beijing’s policy by Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways, the country’s largest long-haul carriers, which operate dozens of flights daily through affected areas.

Both airlines said they had begun to notify the Civil Aviation Administration of China if flights to and from Taiwan or Southeast Asia planned to enter the area covered by the Chinese measures, or if weather patterns pushed aircraft into the zone en route. Both said they were doing so in accordance with notifications received from the CAAC on Saturday, after the foreign ministry in Beijing announced that aircraft around the zone would be subject to “emergency defensive measures” if they did not alert authorities to flight plans.

Japan Airlines, the country’s largest airline, said it had begun to take similar action. “We have no comment about the policy itself, but we must follow procedures for safe flight operations,” said a JAL spokesperson.

Beijing-based diplomats said the decision by Japanese airlines to immediately start reporting their flight plans over the disputed islands to China’s civil aviation authorities made it clear that Tokyo had been caught by surprise by Beijing’s move.

The declaration of an overlapping area where China could theoretically defend its interests has opened up a new dimension in the long-running territorial dispute between Asia’s two largest economies.

The measures drew an angry response from Japan over the weekend, while drawing condemnation from the US. “We view this development as a destabilising attempt to alter the status quo in the region,” said US defence secretary Chuck Hagel.

Mr Abe yesterday said the measures heightened the risk of “unexpected incidents” in the air, should both sides send up fighter jets at the same time.

Patrol aircraft from Japan’s maritime self-defence force routinely fly around the small chain of islets in the East China Sea known in Japan as the Senkaku and in China as the Diaoyu. If a Chinese plane is detected in Japan’s ADIZ, F-15 jets are scrambled to warn it off.

Japan’s ministry of defence is worried that Chinese aircraft might now ignore such warnings, or attempt to chase them off.

Mr Abe’s comments came after China’s defence ministry yesterday said it had lodged protests with both the US and Japan over the weekend after they criticised Beijing’s measures.

“Now both countries have air defence identification zones that cover the Diaoyu Islands and some areas are overlapping, the possibility of a military confrontation escalating into conflict has increased,” said Shi Yinhong, professor at the School of International Studies, at China’s Renmin University. “However Tokyo, Beijing and Washington will all try to control the risks. Over the long run this is part of China’s move to expand its strategic space into the western part of the West Pacific.”

More broadly, Japan says China’s move violates principles governing the freedom of flight in international airspace.

Japan does not require airlines to submit plans to enter its ADIZ, merely requesting they do so. It also makes no threats if airlines do not comply.

“We are concerned that this series of measures taken by the Chinese government seriously infringes freedom of flights over high seas,” said a foreign ministry spokesman.

China’s decision to set up its own ADIZ came as ties between the private sectors in Asia’s two largest economies had begun to improve, more than a year after anti-Japan demonstrations swept across China.

Last week, more than 100 Japanese business leaders travelled to Beijing, the first such trip in two years. About 20 of them met vice-premier Wang Yang, with both sides agreeing to maintain and strengthen bilateral economic relations.

Separately, South Korea’s foreign ministry yesterday said a senior official had met a Chinese embassy representative, to state that Seoul was “very, very concerned” about the Chinese declaration of its ADIZ. The area claimed by China overlaps South Korea’s air defence zone.

“We don’t think it is fair – we think that area is our space,” the spokeswoman said.

安倍晋三(Shinzo Abe)敦促中国撤销在东海争议领土上空限制飞行的新措施。不过日本两大商业航空公司均表示,它们已经在遵守北京方面上周六颁布的规则。

日本首相昨日在日本国会发言时表示,中国单方面宣布划设“防空识别区”——该识别区与日本早已设立的防空识别圈部分重叠——是“无法执行的”举动,“对我国完全无效”。

然而,日本航空(JAL)和全日空(ANA)迅速宣布遵守中国的政策,这似乎削弱了安倍的立场。这两家日本最大的长途航空公司每天有数十航班飞越受影响的区域。

两家航空公司均表示,对于来往台湾或东南亚的航班要进入中国的防空识别区,或者天气状况迫使飞机在飞行途中进入中国的防空识别区这些情况,他们已开始向中国民用航空局(CAAC)通报。日本航空和全日空均表示,它们这么做是遵循上周六从中国民航局接到的通知。此前中国外交部在北京宣布,进入防空识别区的飞机如果不向有关部门通报飞行计划,就可能遭遇中方的“防御性紧急处置措施”。

日本最大航空公司日本航空表示,它已开始采取相应行动。“我们对政策本身不予评论,但我们必须为了飞行安全而遵守程序,”日本航空发言人表示。

常驻北京的外交人士表示,日本的航空公司立即开始向中国民航部门通报飞越争议岛屿的飞行计划,突显日本政府对中国的举动措手不及。

宣布与日方部分重叠、中方理论上可能捍卫其权益的防空识别区,在亚洲两大经济体长期存在的领土纠纷中开启了一个新的维度。

这些措施在周末引发日本的愤怒回应,同时也招致美国的谴责。“我方将这一动态视为一种不利于稳定的企图,目的是改变地区现状,”美国国防部长查克?哈格尔(Chuck Hagel)表示。

安倍昨日表示,这些措施加大了在空域引发“不测事态”的风险,尤其是在双方同时出动战斗机的情况下。

日本海上自卫队的巡逻机经常环绕面积不大的东海争议岛群——日本称其为尖阁诸岛(Senkaku islands),中国称其为钓鱼岛及其附属岛屿——执行巡逻任务。如果日本侦测到中方的飞机进入日本的防空识别圈,就会紧急出动F-15战斗机警告中方飞机离开。

日本防卫省担心,中国的飞机现在可能忽视日方的警告,甚至企图驱赶日方的飞机。

安倍在国会发表上述言论之前,中国国防部昨日表示,其已在周末向美国和日本提出抗议,此前美日批评了北京方面的措施。

“既然两国都有防空识别区覆盖钓鱼岛,一些地方有重叠,军事对峙升级为冲突的可能性确实增加了,”中国人民大学国际关系学院教授时殷弘表示。“不过,东京、北京和华盛顿方面都会试图控制风险。长期而言,这是中国向西太平洋西部扩张战略空间努力的一环。”

在更广泛的层面上,日本表示,中国的举动违反了有关国际空域飞行自由的原则。

日本并不要求航空公司在进入其防空识别圈时向其递交飞行计划,而只是请求它们这么做。日本也未威胁对不配合的航空公司采取行动。

“我们感到担忧的是,中国政府采取的这一连串措施严重侵犯了公海上空的飞行自由,”日本外务省发言人表示。

中国作出划设防空识别区的决定之际,亚洲两大经济体私营部门之间的经贸往来刚刚出现起色。一年多前,中国多个地方曾爆发反日示威。

上周,100多名日本商界领袖前往北京,这是两年来首次举行这样的访问活动。大约20人会晤了中国副总理汪洋,双方同意保持和加强双边经贸关系。

另外,韩国外交部昨日表示,一名高级官员会晤了中国大使馆的代表,声明韩方对中国划设防空识别区“极为关切”。中国划设的识别区与韩国的防空识别区部分重叠。

“我方不认为这是公平的——我方认为那个地区是我国的空间,”韩国外交部女发言人表示。

译者/何黎

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