US Flies Bombers over Disputed China Seas Islands

A direct challenge to China


A pair of American B-52 bombers flew over a disputed island chain in the East China Sea without informing Beijing, U.S. officials said Tuesday, in a direct challenge to China and its establishment of an expanded air-defense zone.

The planes flew out of Guam and entered the new Chinese Air Defense Identification Zone at about 7 p.m. Washington time Monday, according to a U.S. official.

Over the weekend, Beijing said it was establishing an air-defense zone covering disputed islands that are claimed by both Beijing and Tokyo but administered by Japan. The islands, the source of growing friction in the region, are known as the Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan.