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  • Jul 30, 2014
  • Updated: 4:01pm

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. 

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China ‘monitored’ US bombers as they flew over air defence identification zone

Ministry says it observed 'the whole process' as American planes flew across newly declared defence zone in defiance of notice requirement

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 November, 2013, 1:01pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 November, 2013, 1:35pm
 

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28 Nov 2013
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The Ministry of National Defence said yesterday it "monitored the whole process" as two US bombers flew across the country's newly declared air defence identification zone (ADIZ) over the East China Sea without notice.

The statement came after what was seen as a deliberate gesture by the Americans late on Tuesday to defy a Chinese declaration that requires foreign aircraft to give notice before entering the area. The US Air Force flew two B-52 bombers through the zone on a return trip from the US territory of Guam.

Defence ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said the military was able to identify and monitor the US aircraft during their transit across the zone.

"What we want to stress is, the Chinese side will monitor the activities of any flying object in the Chinese ADIZ," Geng said. "The Chinese side has the capabilities to exercise effective control."

Watch: The South China Sea diplomatic row intensifies

Experts said this may set a future pattern, with the US testing Chinese resolve and handling of its new rules and China demonstrating its determination and capabilities without directly confronting the Americans.

"What we see today may happen again," said Richard Hu, an international expert at the University of Hong Kong.

"It will be a process of probing and testing from both sides. Eventually they will come to a tacit understanding. But China will never abolish the zone. It has all the legal ground to do so. Other countries will have to accept it as a political reality."

Hu said the US would continue to probe and test China to find out its bottom line and capabilities in keeping the new rules. China's declaration last Saturday triggered fierce protests from other countries, particularly Japan and the US.

Chinese experts argue that China is the last major power in the region to establish an ADIZ - after Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and even Taiwan.

In 2010, Japan expanded its own ADIZ in the East China Sea by 22 kilometres to cover Yonaguni Island. The expansion led to an overlapping with Taiwan's ADIZ and Taipei at the time expressed "regret" to Tokyo.

Di Dongsheng, deputy director of the Centre for China's Foreign Strategy Studies at Renmin University, said creation of the Chinese zone was largely a response to Tokyo's move in 2010.

"It is not a provocative gesture. It is a response," Di said. "How can Tokyo and Washington criticise us when what we are doing is just following their examples?"

A US diplomat said Washington and its allies were concerned by ambiguities in the Chinese declaration and how Beijing interpreted international law, which promises freedom of navigation for foreign vessels and aircraft when they travel across another country's exclusive economic and air defence identification zones.

A foreign plane needs only to notify the relevant country if it intends to enter into its sovereign airspace or territorial waters. Lacking detailed operational instruction, the Chinese declaration seems to suggest that Beijing would require all aircraft - regardless of their final destination - to give prior notice.

The flight of the US bombers was intended to challenge the point and proves to Beijing that the US will not relinquish the free navigation of its aircraft.

"It is understandable why the US reacted this way," Di said. "The US - the US military in particular - has to protect its credibility before its allies. But in the long run, this will only play into China's hands.

"What the US is doing is going to set an example for China to follow. In future, China can have military aircraft transit across other countries' ADIZ on the grounds of innocent passage. It will be hard for the US and Japan to criticise China because [Washington] set the precedent."

Hu said the development may be similar to what happened between the Chinese and US navies after China introduced the exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea in 1998.

Chinese and American vessels clashed on numerous occasions because of their different understanding of innocent passage under the international law.

By establishing the airspace defence zone, China is not making any further claim to its sovereign airspace, mainland experts say. It is simply asserting its rights to monitor and police airspace near its sovereign territories.

"These are two completely different concepts," military law expert Chai Lidan was quoted by Xinhua as saying yesterday.

"A country enjoys complete and exclusive rights in its sovereign airspace. It has the right to intercept, repel or even destroy unauthorised foreign aircraft entering into that airspace.

"But for the identification zone, it only has the right to track, identify and manage foreign flying objects," Chai said. "It can only give warning and make interception if it believes the foreign aircraft has hostile intentions."

All experts agreed that China needed to further clarify its declaration and issue more detailed operational instructions. This would take the guesswork out and reduce risks, they say.

"[The defence ministry needs] to give a full explanation of what they consider a threat and how they will respond to a threat," said Liu Jiangyong, a Japan expert at Tsinghua University.

Di, Liu and Hu all believed the issue would dominate the talks when US Vice-President Joe Biden visits China next month.

Watch: The South China Sea dispute explained

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This article is now closed to comments

pslhk
It looks like that if you want to censor a comment in scmp
All you need to do is to reply with some expletive
-
I repost my 28NOV 10:16am comment
with some stylish revisions herebelow
pslhk
As evil dinosaurs flew (front page photo)
stained by the blood of massacres
to stage pre exeunt swan song
as warnings to the Japanese
Abe should note
as he traces the footsteps of bro Nguyen
and learn from the dinosaur’s most vicious performance
the christmas bombings
-
Nixon had won his second term in landslide
The war cabinet needed to kill post election and pre festival boredom
to celebrate secretly agreed terms for the Paris Accords with Vietcong
and to soothe Nguyen’s nerves
evil dinosaurs flew ? sorties
and dropped ? tons of bombs
Google has all these figures
readers may choose as they like
They’re all very “impressive”
for purposes of “face”
to satisfy Sam’s cultural thirst for blood
for the benefit of the military complex …
but …
-
Times a changing but there’s a constant
Sam can never win a war against “commies” in east Asia
Unlike Japan which is bound by treaties imposed on it as a loser
countries freely joined NFU are free to withdraw
Sam can’t afford any real fight with China
a nuclear east Asia’s so-called “commies”
A 5% hit would disintegrate the US
China’s reliable penetration rate
already many times that is mounting
-
Critics who find this comment warmongering
should look at the dinosaur’s photo on scmp front page
and the provocative flight path
its relative distance from US/China territories
-
China rightly acts step by step
When the time cometh
the showy Sam/Abe fake relationship will disappear
norodnik

If you see me walkin' down the street
And I start to cry each time we meet
Walk on by, walk on by
Make believe that you don't see the tears
Just let me grieve in private 'cause each time I see
I break down and cry, I cry
Walk on by, don't stop
Walk on by, don't stop
Walk on by
I just can't get over losin' you
And so if I seem, broken and blue
Walk on by, walk on by
Foolish pride, that's all that I have left
So let me hide the tears and the sadness you gave me
When you said goodbye, you said good bye
So walk on by, don't stop
Walk on by, don't stop
Walk on by, don't stop
Walk on by
Walk on by
Walk on by
Foolish pride, that's all that I have left
So let me hide the tears and the sadness you gave me
When you said goodbye, you said goodbye
So walk on by, don't stop
Walk on by, don't stop
Now you really gotta go, so walk on by
Baby, leave, you'll never see the tears I cry
You better walk on by
Walk on by
Oh, walk on by, don't stop
Oh, walk on by, don't stop
Oh, walk on by, don't stop
Baby, leave, you'll never see the tears I cry
Read more: Dionne Warwick - Walk On By Lyrics | MetroLyrics
oxymoron19
A classic case of schizophrenia.
lamlm38
@moron14: go read the history of Hainan incident 2001.. in case u havent noticed the Chinese are already using their economic prowess to cow the Southeast Asians into just paying lip service in supporting the Philipines.. their ASEAN allies!!! I guess VP Biden is coming to Beijing next month to give president Xie some **** TLC!!! hope Biden doesnt choke on his Chinese balls!!!!
oxymoron19
Bribery only has its limits and obviously China is overestimating their power of leverage. Eventually all countries in the Pacific region will put away their differences and form an iron alliance with the US to kick the communists a$$. Resetting the defense zone is a strategic suicide and I guess having a new aircraft carrier really inflated their ego in epic proportions.
BTW; you are right about Biden choking but because they serve only tainted food.
hongkiejj@malaysiaboleh
resetting the zone is suicide...since when moron ??
what u are implying is that others can zone all the beep they want and where they want and how they want and china is completely wrong to do the same ... in their backyard ..????
get real...warmonger..
btw, bet you are beaming with so much of these usa pride..go have a bigmac ...just dont choke on it ..
oxymoron19
That's right! Make no mistake China, feel the wrath of the Supreme American power and cower in fear. Two US bombers flew across and they don't even have the guts protest, well then again, it's all bark but no bite. Instead of using their economic power to galvanize the region into submitting, they have to resort to coercion. But then again, soft power isn't their strong suit. They have none. The only solid good deed they've done internationally is to literally feed the rogue country (North Korea) and keep them alive long enough to build atomic ballistic missiles that will someday massacre the whole Asian Pacific.
guy.pant
The U.S. is getting worked up about this little touch and go as defiance and thinking China is suppose to be trembling in their boots,
oxymoron19
This little stunt is enough to alter China's entire fleet to shift course away from the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands. If this isn't trembling then what is? Oh I guess you haven't read the news.

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