Friday, 8 February 2013


The New York Times OK


Chris Buckley

The New York Times, February 8, 2013

HONG KONG - China on Friday denied directing a radar capable of aiding weapon strikes at a Japanese naval vessel and helicopter near disputed islands, instead accusing Japan of fanning tensions, in the latest exchange to lay bare festering discord between the two countries.

The Chinese Ministry of Defense’s account of the two incidents stood starkly at odds with one given on Tuesday by Japan’s Ministry of Defense, which said that on Jan. 30 a Chinese military vessel trained a radar used to help direct weapons on a Japanese naval destroyer near the islands in the East China Sea. Japan also said that a Chinese frigate directed the same kind of radar at one of its military helicopters on Jan. 19.

Because using such “fire-control” radar can precede an attack, the Japanese defense minister. Itsunori Onodera, said that a misstep “could have pushed things into a dangerous situation.”

China’s first substantial response to the allegations amounted to a wholesale denial – which only deepened the puzzle of what happened, and who made any of the alleged decisions to use the radar. Japan promptly rejected the statement.

When Chinese naval vessels encountered the helicopter and destroyer in the East China Sea, their radar had “maintained normal observational alertness, and there was no use of fire-control radar,” said a statement issued on the Chinese defense ministry’s Web site on Friday. The statement was first issued by state media late on Thursday Beijing time. It did not explain what was meant by “normal observational alertness.”

(...) [article here]

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