News / Asia

China Defense Zone Struggles to Take Off Amid Regional Backlash

A Chinese military plane H-6 bomber flies through airspace between Okinawa prefecture's main island and the smaller Miyako island in southern Japan in this handout photo taken October 27, 2013 by Japan Air Self-Defense Force.
A Chinese military plane H-6 bomber flies through airspace between Okinawa prefecture's main island and the smaller Miyako island in southern Japan in this handout photo taken October 27, 2013 by Japan Air Self-Defense Force.
China’s recent announcement that it has established a wide air defense identification zone off its northeastern coast is facing a backlash from the United States, Japan and other allies in the region. But authorities in Beijing are continuing to defend the policy.

China has warned all aircraft to identify themselves and obey orders from Beijing in the new air defense identification zone over the East China Sea.

From the outset, the White House, State Department and Pentagon voiced strong concern about the decision and the threat they say it poses to regional security. On Monday, the U.S. military flew two unarmed B-52 bombers into the zone without notifying China.

South Korea and Japan say they will ignore Beijing's new policy. In Australia, authorities summoned the Chinese ambassador to explain the move.

Newly appointed U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy praised Tokyo’s restraint on Wednesday and warned that China’s actions only serve to increase tensions in region. She also urged the two countries to find a way to resolve the issue through diplomatic channels.

"Japan has shown great restraint this past year and we urge them to continue to do so," she said. "We encourage Japan to increase communications with its neighbors and continue to respond to regional challenges in a measured way."

Carl Thayer, who specializes in Asian maritime security at the Australian Defense Force Academy, says the use of B-52s on what the U.S. military says was a “pre-planned” mission has put more pressure on China.
 
“I think it puts the ball back in China’s court. You’ve declared the zone and laid out your rules and the United States not only says that it will ignore them but it has ignored them,” he said.

Initial response to the flight from China’s defense ministry was muted. 

In a brief statement the ministry said it monitored the entire flights of the planes and identified them in a timely manner. The spokesman repeated again China’s warning that it is capable of exercising effective control over the area in the future.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang says China has exercised its legitimate self-defense rights in establishing the zone.

Qin says that China notified relevant countries about the decision before making the announcement and that it is willing to work together with other countries to strengthen communication and maintain regional peace, stability and flight safety.

Analysts note that air defense identification zones were first established in the wake of World War II. The United States established an air defense identification zone in 1950 that required planes to only report to civil authorities when they were heading to the United States, but not when they were passing through.

Thayer says air defense zones were useful in providing assurances during the Cold War with the Soviet Union, but their legal status is ambiguous given that they extend beyond a country’s territorial air space and territorial waters, which the United Nations defines as 12 kilometers from a country's shore.

“These are not zones that are declared when there is an ongoing controversy like there is between China and Japan. China is arguing it is a defensive thing to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity over its airspace… And the point is that it is not their airspace it is international airspace,” he said.

In China, online commentators have largely welcomed the move as a sign of a more assertive stance in dealing with Japan. At the same time, however, some did note that the zone is different from a country’s airspace and that planes are allowed to enter and exit the zone freely.

According to the new regulations, airplanes entering the zone must identify themselves and follow China’s orders or face potential military action. China also says it reserves the right to announce zones elsewhere as well. Analysts say that could mean that the South China Sea may be next.

What triggered the announcement, however, is still unclear. Some analysts say it is part of Beijing’s ongoing effort to assert its territorial claims in the East and South China Seas. Others say it is a sign that China is no longer going to take a low-key approach to foreign affairs.

Randy Schriver, the head of the Project 2049 Institute in Washington D.C., says it is hard to speculate at this point, but China has clearly been more assertive in recent years.

“There is a sense in China that Japan has not fully embraced the Chinese request to acknowledge a dispute exists. Japan has said it is a political dispute, not a territorial dispute and I think they are trying to ratchet things up in order to put more pressure on Japan,” he said.

Both China and Japan’s air defense zones include the disputed Senkaku or Diaoyu islands as they are known in China.

Japan annexed the islets in the late 19th century. China claimed sovereignty over the archipelago in 1971, saying ancient maps show it has been Chinese territory for centuries.

You May Like

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: van from: vn
November 29, 2013 6:28 AM
it's time for NATO, England , France, Germany.....to strongly protest china ADIZ. we are humans, we cannot keep silent when we see people doing something wrong. Nato must support Japan, Australia and Asia......

by: VAN from: VN
November 29, 2013 6:18 AM
i am so happy to know that even Australia also objects to china ADIZ. the world is uniting against china for its greed and selfhisness. we are not lonely in this war : the US, Japan, S.Korea, Phi, Australia, Taiwan, England, France, germany.....will watch this closely and support us in the war against china. China should be obedient .i think

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs