Daily Management Review

Air Defense Zone over South China Sea won’t be Recognized by Taiwan


Air Defense Zone over South China Sea won’t be Recognized by Taiwan
As Taiwan’s top security agency warned that a move to set up a air defense zone by China could usher in a wave of regional tension, the island country’s new defense minister said on Monday it would not recognize any air defense zone declared by China over the South China Sea.
Beijing could be prompted to declare an air defense identification zone, or ADIZ, as it did over the East China Sea in 2013 after an expected court ruling in coming weeks on a case brought by the Philippines against China over its South China Sea claims, said US officials expressing their concerns.
Most of South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year, is claimed by China. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei have overlapping claims. These countries also enjoy close military ties with Washington.
"We will not recognize any ADIZ by China," Taiwan Defence Minister Feng Shih-kuan told lawmakers in parliament.
Taiwan's new government of President Tsai Ing-wen, of the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party, was sworn in last month and the commehts came soon after the swearing in. Eight-years of China-friendly Nationalist rule on the self-ruled island was overturned by Tsai's election victory.
China imposed its ADIZ, in which aircraft are supposed to identify themselves to Chinese authorities, above the East China Sea which crew condemnation from Japan and the United States. China considers Taiwan a breakaway province.
Saying that a decision would be based on the threat level and that it had every right to set one up, China has neither confirmed nor denied it plans such a zone for the South China Sea.
"In the future, we don't rule out China designating an ADIZ. If China is on track to announce this, it could usher in a new wave of tension in the region," Taiwan's National Security Bureau said in a report presented to parliament.
Many factors needed consideration, especially the level of threat faced in the air, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei when asked whether China would set up an ADIZ for the South China Sea.
"Many countries have set up ADIZs. This has nothing to do with various countries' territorial or maritime rights issues," he told a daily news briefing, without elaborating.
The United States would consider a Chinese air defense zone over the South China Sea "provocative and destabilizing", U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday.
He would make it clear the United States was looking for a peaceful resolution to disputes in the South China Sea, Kerry said while speaking at the beginning of a high-level strategic dialogue in Beijing on Monday.
"The only position we've taken is, let's not resolve this by unilateral action, let's resolve this through rule of law, through diplomacy, through negotiation, and we urge all nations to find a diplomatic solution rooted in international standards and rule of law," he said.
China "resolutely makes it own contribution to peace, stability and development", said China's top diplomat, State Councillor Yang Jiechi.