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Washington (AFP) – The Pentagon said Friday that American forces will continue normal operations despite China scrambling fighter jets to monitor U.S. and Japanese aircraft in Beijing’s newly declared air defense zone.

China’s announcement last weekend it was extending an air defense identification zone over islands disputed by China and Japan was disregarded by several nations, and U.S. B-52 bombers entered the area.

The United States, South Korea, Japan and other countries have accused Beijing of increasing regional tensions with the air defense zone.

But the scrambling of “several combat aircraft” by China, including at least two fighter jets, according to the state news agency Xinhua, threatens to escalate the situation.

“We’ll continue to partner with our allies in the region and operate as normal,” Lieutenant-Colonel Erik Brine, a Pentagon spokesman, told AFP on Friday, without elaborating.

Amy Coney Barrett

Photo from Fox 45 Baltimore/ Facebook

Donald Trump will select U.S. Appeals Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court pick Saturday, multiple news outlets confirmed with White House officials on Friday — and the outlook couldn't be more bleak for reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, immigration, and the future of health care in the United States.

According to the New York Times, Trump "will try to force Senate confirmation before Election Day."

"The president met with Judge Barrett at the White House this week and came away impressed with a jurist that leading conservatives told him would be a female Antonin Scalia," the Times reported.

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