China sends message to US, Japan with frigate near Senkaku

BEIJING — A Chinese frigate on Thursday sailed through a “contiguous zone” near the Japan-administered Senkaku Islands, in the East China Sea.

The move was an attempt to check criticism coming from both Japan and the U.S. over China’s aggressive actions in and above the nearby South China Sea.

Chinese coast guard boats have often sailed into waters near the Senkaku islands, also claimed by China, but this is the first time a Chinese Navy vessel — a 3,900-ton Jiangkai class frigate — has come near the area.

It shows China’s resolve not to make concessions in the East China Sea or the South China Sea, where its island- and runway-building activities have caught the international community’s attention, analysts said.

On Tuesday, a Chinese fighter jet conducted what experts called an “unsafe” intercept of a U.S. patrol plane in international airspace over the East China Sea. The Chinese Foreign Ministry demanded the same day that the U.S stop reconnaissance activities near China.

China’s move also comes ahead of an expected ruling by the International Tribunal. The Philippines unilaterally brought the case, which involves South China Sea islands, to the court; China is refusing to participate.

Full article: China sends message to US, Japan with frigate near Senkaku (Nikkei Asian Review)

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