|Japanese Senkaku Islands|
|USAF B-52 bomber|
Two U.S. B-52 bombers flew over the Japanese Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea during a training mission from their base on Guam. The two unarmed bombers were in the PRC claimed Air-Defence Zone for less than an hour during an overflight there. They did not follow any of the PRC's newly declared mandatory flight rules for aircraft in the East China Sea airspace. Neither USAF aircraft encountered any problems.
The bombers long-planned training mission underscores Washington's rejection of the PRC's new rules. The U.S. which has many aircraft based in the region has absolutely no intention of complying with the PRC rules. Japan has called the zone and rules invalid, both Taiwan and Korea have also rejected it.
The PRC move to further assert its territorial claims over the islands is not expected to immediately cause confrontations with aircraft and does not apply to regular airline flights anyway.
Any enforcement of its own new rules by the PRC could lead to dangerous encounters depending on how vigorously the PRC enforces it. Individual PRC pilots have been known in the past to push situations beyond the limit and may not have the flying skills to avoid an accident. The PRC does not consult on protocols or publish the Rules of Engagement (ROE) for its pilots thus greatly increasing the danger of encounters.