Things are starting to heat up in the South China sea.
The South China Morning Post newspaper is quoting a source in the People’s Liberation Army saying,
“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.”
What this essentially means is that China is clearing the way for an additional air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in the South China Sea to compliment its existing ADIZ it implemented in 2013, over the East China Sea.
Both regions are disputed among east Asian countries, with the East Zone now requiring all aircraft passing through the area to declare their route. China, Japan and South Korea are locked in a dispute over exclusive economic zones and the use of maritime resources in the East zone.
The South China Sea has a number of disputed islands…
- The Paracel Islands are controlled by China while being claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam.
- The Spratly Islands are contested by China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia.
Never to leave a regional dispute go to waste, the United States is working with many of the smaller Asian countries to disrupt China’s claims to lucrative trade waterways.
China, sensing the American hand getting awfully close to its sovereign territory, is firing back, as local media is reporting that China’s military is ready install a planned air defense identification zone in the South China Sea if the United States continues “provocative” activities in the disputed area.
Sputnik News adds some more context…
In May, Beijing expressed discontent with a US warship sailing in the waters near the disputed Spratly archipelago, also known as the Nansha Islands, in the South China Sea.
Previously, US Secretary of State John Kerry expressed the United States’ concern over the possible deployment of China’s air defense systems to the South China Sea. China had also announced a possible creation of an air defense identification zone in the region, while US defense officials have stated that it will not be recognized by the United States.China maintains that installing an air defense identification zone is within its right as a sovereign country.
“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,” the Chinese Defense Ministry told the South China Morning Post in a written reply regarding the issue.