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China lodges complaint against US and Japan as row escalates over disputed islands

China lodges complaint against US and Japan as row escalates over disputed islands
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A diplomatic row between China, Japan and the US over disputed waters in the East China Sea shows no sign of abating.

China has lodged formal complaints with the Japanese and US embassies after they criticised plans by Beijing to impose new rules on the airspace over it.

The Chinese Ambassador to Japan, Cheng Yonghua, warned: “I think both governments should try to take cautionary steps in order to prevent unanticipated occurrences.”

On Saturday, Beijing issued a map of the zone and said all aircraft must notify Chinese authorities or be subject to “defensive emergency measures.”

The zone covers disputed islands thought to contain oil deposits. They are known as the Diaoyu in China and the Senkaku in Japan. The islands are legally under the control of Japan but China says they have been part of its territory since ancient times.

Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, condemned Beijing’s action: “The measures by the Chinese side have no validity whatsoever on Japan, and we demand China revoke any measures that could infringe upon the freedom of flight in international airspace.”

The US recognises Japan’s administrative control and described China’s move as destabilising for the region.

Asian airlines, including Singapore Airline; Qantas Airways and Korean Air, announced on Monday they would give China their flight plans, effectively acknowledging Beijing’s authority over the zone.

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