• Sat
  • Dec 20, 2014
  • Updated: 5:40am

Air Defence Identification Zone

The Air Defense Identification Zone is airspace over land or water in which the ready identification, location, and control of civil aircraft over land or water is required in the interest of national security. China's Defence Ministry announced its ADIZ over a vast area in the East China Sea on November 23, 2013, which covers the area around the Diaoyu islands, controlled by Japan and known as the Senkaku Islands. The establishment of this zone drew strong opposition from Japan, the US and South Korea, becoming a flashpoint in East Asian politics and security. 

CommentInsight & Opinion

Despite tensions, China and US will focus on the bigger picture

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 03 December, 2013, 5:27am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 December, 2013, 6:21am

Diplomacy and common sense will restore some perspective to the anxieties prompted by Beijing's proclamation of a new air defence identification zone (ADIZ) over the East China Sea. The visit to Beijing tomorrow by US Vice-President Joe Biden is key to defusing tensions. China has every right to declare such a zone, like nearly 20 other maritime countries, but the fact that it covers islands in dispute with Japan and South Korea, and that it came as a surprise, has caused unusually strong reactions from those countries, as well as Japan's ally the US, and other nations.

The declaration of the ADIZ is consistent with the expansion of China's maritime power, not to mention Japan's increasingly aggressive stance over the islands. But it was devoid of explanation or context.

China has since supplied some by clarifying that the ADIZ is not Chinese sovereign space and that it was "incorrect" to suggest that China could shoot down planes that entered the zone without giving notice. Washington also helped ease the tension by advising American airlines to comply with Beijing's demand to be notified of their flights through the new zone.

Indeed, China and the US will determine the course of the dispute now. Biden's visit to Beijing, as well as Tokyo and Seoul, originally meant to be mainly about economic issues, will now be dominated by rising tensions.

Following China's economic rise and its need to source energy supplies all over the world, it is inevitable that it will try to expand its maritime power and influence in the region and beyond. Concerns about China's rise are also understandable. Its expansion is bound to test geopolitical patterns from time to time, which means there is bound to be similar friction in the future. Despite international pressure, Beijing is unlikely to yield in tomorrow's talks. But this is unlikely to lead to any deterioration in Sino-US ties because they are focused on the bigger picture - a complex relationship that balances confrontation and co-operation.


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This article is now closed to comments

Very little is recyclable from this editorial garbage bin
that is rife with contradiction, bias and ignorance
Though “China has every right to declare” its ADIZ
it causes anxieties because its unexpected proclamation
covers islands in dispute”
Did China ever get anxious when countries near and afar
first unilaterally proclaimed their ADIZ, some right off China coast
covering “islands in dispute”?
Why scmp editors’ suddenly care for “explanations and context”
which they require from no one but China?
Since Japan’s nationalized attempt to openly steal Diaoyu islands
and single-minded indulgence in provocation
it’s foolish not to expect appropriate responses from China
such as ADIZ and …
Mingpao’s op-eds usually exhibit brainwashed naivity
but it often has better news coverage than scmp
Today it reports disclosure from Taiwan’s military sources
about frequent interferences of Taiwan’s civilian airliners
by Japanese fighters over reported flight paths all these years
Since China’s declaration of its ADIZ, Chinese intercepters
frequently dogged Japanese and US militry aircrafts
sometimes so closely that their radar dots overalapped
Defence is against military vehicles
Only Japanese military would practise with civilian airliners
scmp is foolish to keep blowing westerners’ broken trumpet
Biden is coming to learn from China
how to be a responsible international leader


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