China, Japan in fighter jet confrontation near Senkaku Islands

China, Japan in fighter jet confrontation near Senkaku Islands
Chinese Su-30s. (Image: People's Liberation Army Air Force via USNI)

[Ed. – This sounds worse than it was, but it was still bad enough.  It’s hardly a pretext for war that the fighters may have achieved radar locks on each other.  But it needs to not keep happening in the context of the unresolved territorial claims at the heart of these repeated confrontations.  If not a desperate trend, it’s still a dangerous one.  China is the aggressor in the sense of having unilaterally declared an ADIZ that gives her an excuse to keep flying warplanes into Senkaku air space, over which Japan has long asserted sovereignty — a position the U.S. officially supports.  Bottom line: situation unstable, and gravely worrisome.]

China’s Ministry of Defense (MOD) has accused Japan of aggressive behavior in the East China Sea, claiming that Japanese “provocations” nearly resulted in a dogfight between aircraft of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) and the Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF), according to a statement published on the Chinese MOD website.

The Chinese claims came a week after Japanese media reported that a Chinese warplane was close to firing at a JASDF aircraft in the East China Sea—an incident that was immediately denied by Koichi Hagiuda, the deputy chief Cabinet secretary and an aide to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. …

According to the Chinese MOD, two Chinese Su-30 fighter jets were executing a “routine patrol over the East China Sea ADIZ on June 17” when they “were approached by two J[A]SDF F-15 fighter jets in high speed. They even used fire-control radars to lock on the Chinese fighter jets.” …

However, on July 5, Hagiuda denied Chinese allegations of Japanese provocations in the skies over the East China Sea, stating that the JASDF planes have “never taken any of the provocative actions as claimed.”

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