To this point, a senior official in U.S. President Barack Obama's administration said Friday that commercial airlines are being told to abide by Beijing's call to notify it of plans to traverse the newly declared zone over the East China Sea, even if the U.S. government doesn't recognize it.
"We ... are advising for safety reasons that they comply with notices to airmen, which FAA always advises," the official said.
This advice reflects fears that the back-and-forth between the two sides could have unintended consequences involving not just opposing troops, but innocent civilians as well. It's a subtle change from two days earlier, when the State Department said "the U.S. government generally expects that U.S. carriers operating internationally" comply with other countries' mandates, rather than directing them to.
Whatever U.S. carriers do, two major Japanese airlines have refused to comply with China's declaration.