Taiwan lawmakers denounce China air defense zone

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TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) - Taiwan's legislature attacked China's newly declared air defense zone on Friday, with lawmakers demanding in an unusual joint statement that President Ma Ying-jeou's government lodge a "stern protest" with Beijing.

They admonished Ma's government for its cautious response to China's announcement last Saturday, including agreeing to supply China with flight plans for planes entering the zone.

The statement, signed by caucus leaders of the ruling Nationalists and pro-independence opposition parties, said Taiwan should work together with Japan, the U.S. and other "friendly states in the region" in multilateral negotiations with China.

The government said later Friday it will communicate its "stern position" to Beijing.

China said all aircraft must notify Chinese authorities before entering the zone, which includes islands controlled by Japan but claimed by Beijing. The U.S., Japan and South Korea have sent flights through the airspace in defiance of China's rules.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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