China also threatened military intervention for non-compliance.

The announcement regarding this new zone — which covers areas with touted hydrocarbon potential and the Chunxiao gas field, known as Shirakaba in Japan — has sparked angry responses from Japan.

The governments of the US and Australia have also voiced concerns over regional stability.

The US flew two unarmed B-52 bombers over the disputed islands in the East China Sea in defiance of new Chinese air defence rules, highlighting Washington’s disapproval of the Chinese action.