Un-manned US bombers are not the only airplanes to have flown through China’s Air Defense Identification Zone unannounced. Japanese and Korean airliners have been flying through the ADIZ without notifying China, as well.
Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways initially agreed to notify Chinese authorities of flight plans before flying over the disputed marine territory in the East China Sea.
Following pressure from Japan’s aviation authorities, however, both airlines decided not to comply with the Chinese demand. They have published the following statement on their respective websites:
“Regarding the request from Japanese government in response to Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) declared by China, the conclusion from the Scheduled Airlines Association of Japan has been confirmed that there is no impact on safety of passengers onboard the flights through affected area without submission of flight plans to China. Member airlines of the Scheduled Airlines Association of Japan including JAL will not submit the flight plans for their flights through the affected areas, starting at 00:00 JST on November 27, 2013.”
Both airlines say that they are “working closely with relevant authorities and continuing to provide safe and comfortable flights with customers.”
Korean Air Carriers
Korea’s two largest air carriers – Korean Air and Asiana Airlines – have also been flying over the disputed territory without notifying Chinese authorities.
“There will be no changes in our operations until there is a new policy guideline from the transportation ministry,” a Korean Air statement says.
Asiana Airlines issued a similar comment.
Taiwanese airlines, however, have been complying with the Chinese demands. As far as we can determine, other air carriers are also following suit.
New Chinese Rules
Under the new Chinese rules, which were announced on 23 November 2013, non-Chinese aircraft are expected to provide their flight plan, clearly mark their nationality, and maintain two-way radio communication allowing them to “respond in a timely and accurate manner” to identification inquiries from Chinese authorities.
The zone covers waters also claimed by Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. The governments of all three countries – as well as Australia and the United States – have reacted strongly to the new Chinese rules.
Both the Japanese and Korean military have followed the US lead, flying military air craft through through the Chinese ADIZ without notifying the Chinese authorities.