US warns that China's claims on disputed islands could "create risks of an incident"
November 25 , 2013
The United States warned China that its claim to dominate the airspace over the disputed island chain called Diaoyu by China and Senkaku by Japan creates the risk of "misunderstanding and miscalculation." The islands in the East China Sea are also claimed by Taiwan. China has created an early warning system which it calls an "Air Defense Identification Zone" over the disputed islands, agressively patrolling the airspace over them.
China claims it had possession of the islands since hundreds of years. However Japan, which surveyed the islands in 1885, recognized them as Japanese sovereign territory in 1895. Some of the islands were sold to private owners in 1932 and after the Japanese defeat in 1945, the US administered the islands. The islands were returned to Japan in 1972 by the US. Also claimed by China and Taiwan, the islands have become a potential source of conflict between these nations. US Secretary of State John Kerry said "We have urged China to exercise caution and restraint."