China said flights over its newly declared “Air Defense Identification Zone” in the East China Sea were normal and safe, and civil aviation routes have not been affected, Xinhua reported Thursday, citing Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang. “We expect all sides, including aviation companies, to actively coordinate with us and jointly safeguard flight safety,” Qin was quoted as saying. Also on Thursday, Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun reaffirmed China’s commitment to respect other countries’ rights of free flight in line with international law, the report said. “The normal flight of international flights in the zone will not be affected,” Yang was quoted as saying.
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