尖閣諸島上空の防空識別圏設定を巡ってアメリカ側に新しい動きがありました。アメリカの中国への態度が揺れ動いている感じがします。最初の10段落の難しそうな語句に日本語を対応させてあります

見出し:Airlines Urged(促された)by U.S. to Give Notice to China

WASHINGTON — On the same day that China scrambled fighter jets to enforce its newly declared air defense zone, the Obama administration decided to advise American commercial airlines to comply with(・・・に従う)China’s demands to be notified in advance of flights through the area.

While the United States continued to defy(を無視する)China by sending military planes into the zone unannounced, administration officials said they expected civilian planes to adhere to(・・・を固守する)Beijing’s new rules out of fear of an unintended confrontation(直面).

Although the officials made clear that the administration rejects China’s control of the airspace over a large area of the East China Sea, the guidance to the civilian airlines could be interpreted in the region as a concession(譲歩)in the battle of wills with China.

“The U.S. government generally expects that U.S. carriers operating internationally will operate consistent with” notice requirements “issued by foreign countries,” the State Department said in a statement, adding that that “does not indicate U.S. government acceptance of China’s requirements.”

The decision contrasted with that of Japan’s government earlier this week, when it asked its airlines, which were voluntarily following China’s rules, to stop for fear that doing so would add legitimacy(合法性)to Chinese claims to control the airspace above islands claimed by both countries. China’s newly declared air defense zone, experts say, is designed mainly to whittle away at(を削除する)Japan’s hold on the islands, which it has long administered.

On Saturday, a Japanese Foreign Ministry official said, “We will not comment on what other countries are doing with regard to filing flight plans.” It was not immediately clear if the Obama administration had notified Japan, a close ally, of its decision.

The American announcement came just hours after Chinese state news media said China sent jets that identified two American surveillance(監視)planes and 10 Japanese aircraft in the air defense zone the country declared last weekend. Although there was no indication that China’s air force showed any hostile(敵対的な)intent, the move raised tensions.

Earlier in the week, the United States sent unarmed B-52s into the area, and they proceeded unimpeded(邪魔されずに).

The administration’s decision underscored(を明白にした)the sensitive position President Obama finds himself in, drawn into a geopolitical dispute that will test how far he is willing to go to contain(を封じ込める)China’s rising regional ambitions.

China’s move thrust the United States into the middle of the already prickly(厄介な) territorial clash between Beijing and Tokyo, a position the administration had avoided for months even while reiterating that it was treaty-bound to defend Japan if it were ever attacked. After the declaration last weekend, American officials feared that if left unchallenged, the Chinese action would lead to ever greater claims elsewhere in the Pacific region.

But with planes flying so fast and in such proximity, the administration’s worries grew that an accident or an unintended confrontation could spiral out of control. A midair collision between a Chinese fighter jet and an American spy plane off the coast of China in April 2001 killed the fighter pilot and forced the spy plane to make an emergency landing on Hainan island, setting off a heated diplomatic episode until Beijing released the American crew and sent the plane back, broken into parts.

“Crowded air lanes increase the chances for an unwanted incident,” said Jon M. Huntsman Jr., Mr. Obama’s first ambassador to China. “The challenge here, as with April 2001, is when you have an unexpected crisis, things escalate very, very quickly without any plans for de-escalation. That’s one of the big challenges we have in the U.S.-China relationship.”

One of the biggest challenges for Mr. Obama is navigating the complicated personalities of leaders in Tokyo and Beijing. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, a strong nationalist, has vowed to stand firm against any Chinese encroachments, while President Xi Jinping of China has recently taken over as leader and has promised to advance a strong foreign policy meant to win his country more recognition as an international power.

The two countries have been at odds for years over the uninhabited islands known as Diaoyu by the Chinese and Senkaku by the Japanese. Tokyo administers the islands, but China also claims them, and its newly declared air zone includes the space above them. The United States does not take a position on the dispute, but it has said that an attack over the islands would be covered by its mutual defense treaty with Japan.

Although administration officials believe Chinese actions are mainly meant to give it an advantage in its struggle with Japan over the islands, experts on Asia say that they also fit with China’s larger goal of establishing itself as the dominant power in the region, displacing the United States.

Administration officials said they decided to proceed with routine training and surveillance flights so as not to legitimize China’s assertion and not to encourage it to establish a similar air zone over the South China Sea, where it has similar territorial disputes with Vietnam, Brunei, Taiwan and the Philippines. China had said it expected to set up other air defense zones, and experts said they expected one to cover the South China Sea.

“We don’t want this to be the first in what would be a series of assertive moves,” said an administration official, who insisted on anonymity to discuss a sensitive diplomatic matter. “The whole area’s fraught. This isn’t the only one.”

Mr. Obama is sending Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. to the region next week, when he will meet with both Mr. Xi and Mr. Abe as well as South Korea’s leader. Although the trip was previously scheduled, it will put Mr. Biden in the center of the dispute at a fraught moment and aides said he will deliver a message of caution to both sides to avoid escalation.

Many countries, including the United States and Japan, have air defense zones, but the coordinates of the Chinese zone overlap with those of Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

Peter Dutton, director of the China Maritime Studies Institute at the United States Naval War College in Newport, R.I., said the new air zone also gives China a legal structure to intercept American surveillance flights in international airspace, which have long irritated Beijing.

“It is clear that the Chinese do not seek regional stability on any level,” said Mr. Dutton. “They intend to be disruptive in order to remake the Asian regional system in accordance with their preferences.”

The Chinese sent jets on patrol into the contested airspace on Thursday, but on Friday state media indicated the jets were scrambled specifically to respond to foreign jets in the area.

Administration officials declined to provide specifics of the American flights made Friday, which could suggest that they were classified reconnaissance missions unlike the B-52 training runs in the zone earlier in the week. The Chinese account, in Xinhua, said the 10 Japanese aircraft included F-15 jet fighter and surveillance aircraft, but the Chinese did not say how many planes of each type were used.

In Tokyo on Friday, the Japanese defense minister, Itsunori Onodera, rejected the idea of holding talks with Beijing over the air zone. “Under the Chinese air defense identification zone, the Senkaku islands become Chinese territory,” he said, “so Japan cannot accept it.”