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The Purpose of the U.S. Bombers Flying through China’s Air Defense Identification Zone

On the evening of November 25, two American B-52 bombers flew into the airspace claimed by China as its air defense identification zone in the East China Sea. In an interview, military expert Li Jie told a People’s Daily reporter that the U.S. move serves four major purposes: first, it tests the Chinese reaction; second, they are afraid that their future actions of conducting reconnaissance, patrolling, or spying on Chinese intelligence operations would be subject to interference; third, the United States does not want to lose its leadership and control in the Asia-Pacific region; fourth, it wants to show its allies or "pawns" that it still has the final say, and thus, it dares to provoke China. The message is, "You still have to listen to me in the future." 

Major General Luo Yuan said in his article in Global Times that what we declared is an "air defense identification zone," not a "no-fly zone." As long as the United States obeys the instructions of the air defense identification zone management agency or its authorized units, it should have no security worries about flight freedom. However, if, after our repeated warnings, it refuses to obey, China’s armed forces will take defensive emergency measures, regardless of which country’s aircraft it is and for whatever purpose, whether it is an exercise or provocation. 

Source: People’s Daily, November 27, 2013