China Jets Follow US, Japanese Warplanes in Airspace Dispute

China Scrambled Jets for 'Identification'

US and Japanese warplanes once again conducted overflights of the disputed Senkaku Islands today in opposition of China declaring it an air defense zone. For the first time, they were met by Chinese fighter planes.

Japan shrugged off the incident, saying their warplanes were conducting “routine surveillance,” while Chinese officials said their fighters were engaged in an identification mission.

Though neither side seems to want the situation to escalate, likewise neither side seems willing to cut any sort of deal over the islands, which are believed to have considerable offshore oil reserves.

The Pentagon, for its part, also insists that it is going to continue to conduct “routine” flights in violation of Senkaku airspace, saying China’s position on the islands won’t change their policy.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of