|East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (Source: Ministry of National Defense/China Daily)|
BEIJING, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- Fifty-five airlines in 19 countries and three regions have reported their flight plans to China over the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), a spokesman said on Wednesday.
"China has gained understanding from an increasing number of countries over the establishment of the zone. People have come to realize it is a safe and cooperative, rather than risky and confrontational area," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a daily news briefing.
Hong's comment came after the meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.
Biden, in Tokyo at the start of a three-nation tour of Asia, told a news conference on Tuesday that concerns will be raised with leaders in China regarding the newly-formed Air Defense Identification Zone, in the interests of lowering tensions in the region.
"We are willing to keep in touch with relevant parties over technical issues and maintain flight safety and order, on the basis of equality and mutual respect," Hong said.
He reiterated China's ADIZ is aimed to defending its national sovereignty ,territorial and airspace security, as well as safeguarding flight safety and is in accord with international laws and practices.
The normal flight of international flights in the zone will not be affected, he said.
Hong criticized Japan for unilaterally escalating regional tension, urging it to respect China's legitimate rights, stop provocation and make efforts to improve bilateral ties and regional peace and stability.
Other countries should hold an objective and fair view of China's ADIZ, understand, respect and cooperate with China, Hong said.
Biden arrived in Beijing Wednesday morning for a two-day visit and then will fly to the Republic of Korea.