Seoul: China, claiming rights over the East and the South China Sea and creating tensions with Japan and the South East Asian countries, has now provoked South Korea. The incidences of Chinese fighter jets and surveillance aircrafts intruding into the South Korean airspace have more than doubled. It is claimed that China has threatened the neighbouring country, given the increasing cooperation between the United States, Japan and South Korea. Meanwhile, South Korea has severely criticised this intrusion by China and has summoned the Chinese embassy.
There is a dispute between China, Japan and South Korea over the Air Defence Identification Zone. All the three countries have agreed to resolve this dispute through negotiations as there are no clear demarcations of the airspace. It had been decided among these countries that they would not intrude each other’s airspaces, which could threaten the passenger airline traffic, till such a time that the dispute was resolved. Despite this, both Japan and South Korea have criticised that the Chinese military aircraft are regularly violating their airspaces.
Even after the decision was taken to resolve the dispute through negotiations, the Chinese military aircrafts intruded into the South Korean airspace at least 60 times in 2016. Whereas, in 2017 the number of intrusions went to 70. But the South Korean air force has complained that the incursions have almost doubled. The Chinese jets have intruded more than 110 times into the South Korean airspace during this year.
The South Korean air force has expressed concern over the Chinese surveillance and aircrafts used in the electronic warfare having intruded the airspace this time, along with the fighter jets. Only last Monday, Shanxi Y-9, an aircraft used in electronic warfare, hovered deep into the South Koran airspace. After intruding into the South Korean airspace from the Socotra Rock region in the South China Sea, the Chinese aircraft was flying in this area for more than 40 minutes. The South Korean air force informed that after this the Chinese aircraft intruded the Japanese airspace.
Criticising the airspace violation South Korea has summoned senior military officials from the Chinese embassy in Seoul. South Korea has demanded that this being a serious development, China must provide an explanation. At the same time, one official warned that South Korea would not ignore this Chinese intrusion. A few days ago, Japan also had criticised the intervention by the Chinese aircraft.
Meanwhile, the military cooperation between South Korea and the United States has increased in the last few months. The United States held war exercises with South Korea in anticipation of the failure of talks with North Korea. The Chinese media have claimed that China is trying to threaten South Korea given its increasing military cooperation with the United States.