Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Japan summons China envoy over mid-air near miss
by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) June 12, 2014

Vietnam spars with China at UN in maritime spat
United Nations, United States (AFP) June 11, 2014 - Vietnam has hit back against China at UN headquarters in New York, ordering Beijing to withdraw an oil rig and stop "interfering" with maritime safety in an ongoing territorial row.

The Vietnamese mission asked its position paper to be circulated to the General Assembly after China sought support at the United Nations on Monday.

Hanoi and Beijing are embroiled in a bitter war of words, trading accusations over maritime confrontations near an oil rig that China moved into contested waters near the Paracel Islands.

Vietnam demanded that China withdraw the oil rig, "escort vessels from Vietnam's maritime zones and stop all activities that are interfering with maritime safety and security, and affecting regional peace and security," said the document.

The Vietnamese government called on China to "promptly commence government-level negotiations" on sovereignty over the contested waters.

In its document sent to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, China alleged that Vietnam rammed Chinese vessels more than 1,400 times near oil drilling operations in the South China Sea.

Tensions over the oil rig sparked violent anti-Chinese riots in Vietnam last month. Beijing says four Chinese citizens died, while Vietnam says there were three Chinese fatalities.

Australia backs Japan's collective defence shift
Tokyo (AFP) June 12, 2014 - Australia on Thursday backed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's drive to expand the use of Japan's military, hailing it as a "more normal defence posture", a day after Tokyo and Canberra stepped up ties.

Shinzo Abe is pushing to reinterpret Japan's strict pacifist constitution to allow its well-equipped armed forces to fight in defence of an ally, something currently barred.

But he faces opposition at home from those attached to the decades-old constitutional ideal, as well as criticism from China, which accuses him of seeking to remilitarise Japan.

"Australia can see great benefits to our country and to our region, should Japan continue to play a greater constructive role in global and regional peace and security," Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said in Tokyo.

"We certainly support Japan working towards a more normal defence posture to help it play a greater global and regional role," she told a news conference.

Referring to military cooperation in past peace-keeping operations in countries including Iraq and South Sudan, Bishop said: "any decision by Japan to exercise that right to collective self-defence would only help our cooperation grow stronger."

The comments came hours after Bishop, together with Defence Minister David Johnston, met with their respective opposite numbers in Japan Fumio Kishida and Itsunori Onodera and agreed to step up their alliance.

The remaking and strengthening of relations is part of a wider regional pattern as countries warily eye China's growing assertiveness, including in rows that have flared badly with Vietnam, the Philippines and Japan.

Johnston said Thursday that security and defence cooperation is "very, very important to Australia. In fact it is the central pillar of our bilateral relationship."

But he brushed off suggestions that Australia, Japan and the United States are looking to control the Asia Pacific region, saying humanitarian and disaster relief operations were the ultimate aim of collaborations.

"We have a very close and productive relationship with China and I will be in China later this year... discussing many of the issues that we've also discussed here," he said.

"The relationship between China and Australia is not mutually exclusive. Australia... has a very strong and successful relationship with China and with Japan," he said.

Japan on Thursday summoned the Chinese ambassador, as the two sides traded accusations of blame for a near miss involving fighter jets over the East China Sea, the second similar incident in less than a month.

In the latest confrontation in a long-running territorial dispute, Tokyo says two Chinese SU-27 jets flew as close as just 30 metres to its aircraft in a spot where the two countries' air defence zones overlap.

"It was an action that was extremely regrettable, and which cannot be tolerated," said top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga, of the Wednesday incident.

It was the second time in less than three weeks that Tokyo has accused Beijing of playing chicken in the skies near the hotly contested Japanese-controlled Senkaku islands, which China also claims and calls the Diaoyus.

"It comes after a similar event which occurred last month," Suga said. "The government will continue urging China to prevent an accident and restrain itself."

Japan's vice minister for foreign affairs, Akitaka Saiki, called the Chinese ambassador to Japan, Cheng Yonghua, to the ministry, where he said similar manoeuvres "could lead to a real accident", according to Kyodo News.

China hit back, insisting Japanese pilots had been at fault and that Tokyo was lying to the international community about China's behaviour.

"Japan has hyped the claim that a Chinese fighter flew 'unusually close' to a Japanese surveillance plane, exaggerating China's military threat," said a statement on the Chinese defence ministry website.

"The Chinese pilot's operation was professional, standard and maintained restraint. The Japanese pilot's practice was dangerous, and obviously provocative in nature."

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Japan has "ignored the facts" and "hyped up this incident and the so-called China threat".

"(Japan has) deliberately deceived the world. So we can't help but wonder what is the true intention of Japan."

The website also carried video footage of another incident in which two Japanese F-15 jets approached a Chinese TU154 plane on Wednesday, saying the near-miss disrupted its safe flight.

Japan's Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said he saw the video himself.

"There was no truth behind what the Chinese side stated," he told reporters. "The self-defence force aircraft were flying stably at a certain distance."

"China may have gone out of its way to release the video as they may feel something shameful about the case in which Chinese fighter jets approached (Japanese) self-defence force aircraft," Onodera said.

- Political alliances -

The incident occurred as Japan and Australia held the fifth round of so-called "2+2" talks between their defence and foreign affairs chiefs in Tokyo.

The meeting was in line with a trend towards strengthening and political alliances in the Asia-Pacific, as countries look with alarm at China's willingness to forcefully push its claims in territorial disputes.

The two sides reached a broad agreement on a legal framework to allow them to conduct joint research and trade in defence equipment.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has relaxed strictures on his country's arms industry to allow it to sell its high-tech weaponry abroad, and as Canberra is known to be shopping for submarines.

Abe bills Japan as a benign counterweight for countries looking askance at China's recent heavy-handedness, which has led it to become embroiled in destabilising rows with Vietnam and the Philippines.

Japan's own dispute with China is heavily coloured by differences over shared history, but is being played out on the seas and in the skies near the Senkakus, where boats and planes have sparred for nearly two years.

Few observers believe there will be an outright military conflict over the uninhabited islands, but many warn that with so much hardware in the area, the greatest risk is of an accidental collision.

They say that any crash could quickly spiral into a confrontation that would see local commanders taking decisions under pressure that could have huge geo-political implications.


Related Links
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Cantor leaving US House leadership after shock defeat
Washington (AFP) June 11, 2014
Eric Cantor, the Republican star unexpectedly bounced from the US Congress by a political novice, said Wednesday he will step down as House majority leader. "While I intend to serve out my term as a member of Congress from the 7th District of Virginia, effective July 31st I will be stepping down as majority leader," Cantor told reporters a day after his shock primary loss to economics profes ... read more

NASA Missions Let Scientists See Moon's Dancing Tide From Orbit

Earth's gravitational pull stretches moon surface

Water in moon rocks provides clues and questions about lunar history

NASA Invites Public to Select Favorite Moon Image for Lunar Orbiter Anniversary Collection

Rover Corrects its Spacecraft Clock

NASA could not deliver humans to Mars

Big Brother creators to document Mars One mission

NASA's human spaceflight program doomed to fail: study

Astronaut Mike Hopkins says space smells

NASA Invites Universities to Submit Innovative Technology Proposals

One docking ring to rule them all

CU-Boulder payload selected for launch on Virgin Galactic spaceship

Chinese lunar rover alive but weak

China's Jade Rabbit moon rover 'alive but struggling'

Chinese space team survives on worm diet for 105 days

Moon rover Yutu comes closer to public

Russia, US resume talks on new joint projects for ISS

Russian Soyuz with New Crew Docks at ISS in Automatic Mode

Russian, German and US astronauts dock with ISS

Six-Person Station Crew Enjoys Day Off Following Docking

SpaceX sues USAF, citing unfair contractor monopoly

Next ATV transferred to Final Assembly Building at Kourou

Roscosmos Scolded for 'Pestering Society' with Proton Crash Theories

SpaceX unveils capsule to ferry astronauts to space

Astronomers Confounded By Massive Rocky World

Two planets orbit nearby ancient star

First light for SPHERE exoplanet imager

Astronomers find a new type of planet: The 'mega-Earth'

NASA Beams 'Hello, World!' Video from Space via Laser

Plastic rocks likely to become part of geologic record

Nintendo jumps on toy figure trend to boost Wii U

Just add water: 3-D silicon shapes fold themselves when wetted by microscopic droplets

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.