US airlines have agreed to comply with China’s demands that they be notified when their flight plans take them over what the communist country says is waters that belong to them.
Three major American airliners confirmed that they would meet demands of the Chinese government when they travel over the newly declared air defense zone.
Chinese demands that they be notified when the airspace is breached has led to tensions with the US and Japan.
In recent military exercises the two allies breached the controversial zone, which is not recognized by other nations, in what many see as a defiant stance on China’s expressed wishes.
The news of US airliners United, American, and Delta Airlines was announced on Saturday and comes as a welcome development by China.
In contrast with the provocative actions taken by the US military in conjunction with Japan, as reported by The Inquisitr the statement said the companies were following “Washington’s advice and complying with Beijing’s air defense identification zone.”
A senior Obama administration official tells CNN commercial airlines are being told to abide by Beijing’s instruction, even if the US government doesn’t recognize it.
“We… are advising for safety reasons that they comply with notices to airmen, which FAA always advises,” the official, who was not identified, said.
Meanwhile, Japan is not being as compliant as US airlines, as they have refused to follow the demands and are not notifying Beinjing of their flight plans.
According to a report in the Kyodo News Agency the Japanese government has asked the International Civil Aviation Organization to address China’s designation of the new defense zone, which they don’t accept.
The Japanese Foreign Ministry at an ICAO meeting Friday, in Canada, called the Chinese zone a threat to aviation safety, Kyodo says.
According to the report, Australia, Great Britain, and the United States agree on the assessment.
Last Saturday, China, unilaterally announced the creation of the zone over several islands it and Japan have both claimed.
The islands in question are believed to be near large reserves of natural resources, which China claims belong to them as well.
Previous to the declaration, the area was deemed to be international waters.
The government advice to US airlines to comply with Beijing’s demands is seen as an effort to avoid the loss of innocent lives in the highly tense region.
On Wednesday, newly appointed US Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy said in a statement:
“Unilateral actions like those taken by China, with their announcement of an East China Sea air defense identification zone, undermine security and constitute an attempt to change the status quo in the East China Sea. This only serves to increase tensions in the region.”
US airlines will inform China of their flight plans regardless of how the situation develops, to avoid any misunderstanding that could put passengers at risk.