China to Impose ‘Air Defense Identification Zone’ in South China Sea

BREITBART — A report in the South China Morning Post cites Chinese sources as stating that Beijing is preparing to impose an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over the South China Sea, which would require all aircraft to allow China to track their movements in the region, even over the sovereign territory of other nations.

“If the US military keeps making provocative moves to challenge China’s sovereignty in the region, it will give Beijing a good opportunity to declare an ADIZ in the South China Sea,” the South China Morning Post quotes its source as stating. The newspaper identifies the source only as being “close” to the People’s Liberation Army. The newspaper cites other reports stating that it appears that the Chinese government has already done the work of outlining the territory they will establish the ADIZ over, and are waiting for the optimal moment to issue the announcement.

The newspaper reached out to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, which neither confirmed nor denied the report. Instead, the ministry responded that announcing an ADIZ was within “the right of a sovereign state.” “Regarding when to declare such a zone, it will depend on whether China is facing security threats from the air, and what the level of the air safety threat is,” it concluded.

An ADIZ requires extensive surveillance technology and the military resources necessary to punish any aircraft that violate the rules of the zone: it must identify itself to the country imposing the zone, allowing itself to be fully tracked. The Chinese government has already imposed one of these zones over a region it does not control: the East China Sea. In 2013, China announced an ADIZ over the Senkaku Islands, which belong to Japan but China claims as its own. Both Japan and the United States refused to abide by the ADIZ, with American officials reminding Beijing that any attack on a Japanese aircraft would force the United States, bound by treaty to defend Japan, to attack China. The Chinese government has not enforced the ADIZ since, though it is technically still in effect.

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