BBC原文 ： US B-52 bombers challenge disputed China air zone
The 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.
美国国防部发言人史蒂夫•沃伦表示，这两架B-52轰炸机的飞行属于计划已久一次代号为“珊瑚闪电”全球力量突击训练演习（Coral Lightning Global Power Training Sortie）的一部分。
B-52战略轰炸机目前部署在美国关岛安德森空军基地（Anderson Air Force Base）。韩国媒体此前报道，据确认，为应对朝鲜“核武器攻击威胁”，美国在太平洋关岛基地长期配备了6架以上B-52战略轰炸机。
US bombers challenge China's air defense zone
Two US B-52 bombers fly over a disputed area of the East China sea without notifying Beijing. Photo: Getty Images
Two unarmed US B-52 bombers on a training mission flew over disputed islands in the East China Sea without informing Beijing, defying China's declaration of a new airspace defense zone and raising the stakes in a territorial standoff.
The two unarmed warplanes took off from their home base in Guam and flew through China's newly designated air defense zone, then returned to base, US officials said. The bombers were in the zone for less than an hour, thundering across the Pacific skies during midday there, the officials said, adding that the aircraft encountered no problems.
While the US insisted the training mission was long-planned, it came just days after China published coordinates for an East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone over the weekend and warned it would take "defensive emergency measures" against aircraft that failed to identify themselves properly in the airspace.
The zone covers the skies over Diaoyu Islands at the heart of a territorial dispute that China has with close US ally Japan.
The Pentagon insisted Tuesday that the overflight was not a reaction to the Chinese declaration.
Lieutenant colonel Tom Crosson, a Defense Department spokesman, said the planes were not armed and flew “as part of a long-planned training sortie”. The Chinese did not in any way attempt to challenge the planes’ flight, Crosson said, nor did the pilots announce themselves to any Chinese authorities.
Crosson said the Pentagon had yet to receive a message from China in response to the overflight.
“You’ll probably hear a lot of boisterous statements out of China that it’s a provocation,” said Nick Szechenyi of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Chinese aircraft carrier group on the move
China's military, meanwhile, announced on its website early Wednesday that its navy's sole aircraft carrier was heading toward the South China Sea.
That's where China has had territorial disputes with other Asian nations including the Philippines and Vietnam. At the same time, the East China Sea is not far away.
The carrier, named Liaoning, set out from a shipyard in eastern China's Qingdao city on Tuesday morning, the military said on its website. China's state-run CCTV also reported the news, showing the carrier -- which was commissioned in September 2012 and first had aircraft leaving and landing on it two months later-- heading out to sea.
As with US aircraft carriers, it doesn't travel alone: Two guided missile destroyers and two guided missile frigates are accompanying the massive ship as part of its group.
The Chinese military makes no mention of the dispute with Japan and its ally, the United States. Rather, its website post notes that the carrier group's mission is to conduct scientific experiments and military training.
That said, it is noteworthy that -- in order to get from Qingdao to the South China Sea -- the aircraft carrier group has to first go through the East China Sea.
China's Defense Ministry said it had lodged protests with the US and Japanese embassies in Beijing over the criticism from Washington and Tokyo of the zone.
China also summoned Japan's ambassador, warning Tokyo to "stop words and actions which create friction and harm regional stability," China's Foreign Ministry said.
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