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China has demarcated an "air-defence identification zone" over an area of the East China Sea, covering islands that are also claimed by Japan. China's Defence Ministry said aircraft entering the zone must obey its rules or face "emergency defensive measures". The zone came into effect from 10:00 local time (02:00GMT) on Saturday. The islands, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, are a source of rising tension between the countries.
While nominally a unified bloc, ASEAN suffers from diverse and sometimes conflicting interests between its member states. With respect to the heated and escalating South China Sea disputes, members diverge on the legitimacy of China's wide-reaching maritime claims and its rising assertiveness in the area. While countries like Cambodia and Laos are seen as sympathetic to China, the Philippines and Vietnam remain strongly opposed. Other states have taken a more neutral position.
ASEAN as a whole is no more likely to side with China than it is with the United States or US regional strategic ally Japan. As China and the US jockey for regional dominance, the challenge for ASEAN is positioning itself between the push and pull of the two powers as a unified rather than fragmented bloc. That, however, will be increasingly difficult as China raises concerns the US and Japan are implementing a policy of encirclement to contain its rise.
In 2011, Chinese investment in ASEAN member states totaled about US$12 billion. In Cambodia and Laos, two of ASEAN's most underdeveloped nations, China has invested over the past two decades $10 billion and $3 billion respectively. Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the establishment of a $50 billion Asian infrastructure bank to promote regional economic integration. The move was seen as a counter to the Japan-dominated and US-influenced Asian Development Bank.
Sometime back (1+ years) China announced that the zone they claim in the South China Sea was now a province.
China also recently warned N. Korea that it wont tolerate chaos on its borders, which I find interesting. I am thinking China is close to cutting N. Korea loose.
1. China has territorial claims against most of its neighbours. The South China Sea claims are just one of several.
2. China will not drop their support of the crackpot North Korea. The last thing China wants is Korean unification under a successful democratic South, right on their borders. China's biggest problem is keeping the Chinese people down.
he US has flown two B-52 bombers over disputed islands in the East China Sea in defiance of new Chinese air defence rules, officials say. China set up its "air defence identification zone" on Saturday insisting that aircraft obey its rules or face "emergency defensive measures". A Pentagon spokesman said the planes had followed "normal procedures". The islands, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, are a source of rising tension between the two nations.