The world's biggest risks

Timeline of latest flare-up in China-Japan tensions


Chinese demonstrators wearing anti-Japan t-shirts march with Chinese national flags during a protest against Japan's 'nationalizing' of Diaoyu Islands, also known as Senkaku in Japan, in Hengyang, central China's Hunan province.
AFP | AFP | Getty Images

Tensions between China and Japan, Asia's two biggest economies, are seen as one of the biggest risks facing the world. Here's a timeline of recent developments highlighting geopolitical tensions in Asia.

November 23: China declares "Air Defense Identification Zone" in East China Sea covering territory claimed by China, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. Move criticized by Tokyo, Seoul and Washington.

November 29: China says it scrambled fighter jets to monitor U.S. and Japanese planes as they flew in the new air defense zone.

December 5: The White House says China's new air defense zone is "unacceptable" and urges Beijing not to implement it.

December 7: China's parliament says Japan has no right to criticize air defense zone.

(Read more: China-Japan tensions: Who has the smartest approach?)

December 8: South Korea extends its air defense zone to partially overlap China's.

December 13: U.S. navy issues statement saying a U.S.guided missile cruiser operating in international waters in the South China Sea a week earlier was forced to take evasive action to avoid colliding with a Chinese navy ship. The incident is later confirmed by Chinese authorities.

December 14: Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says China's air defense zone is "unjustly violating the freedom of aviation over the high seas."

December 26: Abe visits the Yasukuni war shrine in Tokyo that honors Japan's war dead, including some convicted war criminals. China calls the visit "absolutely unacceptable to the Chinese people" and Seoul expresses its "regret and anger." U.S. embassy in Tokyo says it is "disappointed."

How China-Japan tensions are different under Abe


January 1: Japanese Cabinet minister Yoshitaka Shindo visits the Yasukuni shrine.

January 1: Chinese rules requiring foreign fishing vessels to obtain approval to enter waters under its jurisdiction in the South China Sea come into effect.

(Read more: Japan condemns China fishing curbs; vows to defend islands)

January 8: China raises Abe's visit to the Yasukuni war shrine at the United Nations in New York.

January 9: U.S. describes new Chinese fishing restrictions in disputed waters in the South China Sea as "provocative and dangerous." The Philippines asks China for clarification of the new rules.

January 12: Japan joins the U.S. in criticizing China's new fishing restrictions in the South China Sea.

January 19: Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party removes no-war pledge, media report.

(Sources:Reuters, BBC, The Japan Times, Wall Street Journal)