China’s Ministry of Defense shocked the international community by setting up an East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) including the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islets and started air patrols. In the Defense News military expert Wendell Minnick gets all the facts together as far as we know them.
What appears to be a crisis in the making, China’s Ministry of National Defense (MOD) has established the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) effective as of 10 a.m. on Nov. 23.
The zone covers the disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku Islets claimed by China, Japan, and Taiwan. The islets are under the administrative control of Japan. China has been flying unmanned aerial vehicles into the area of the islets and Japan has threatened to shoot them down.
China launched two aerial patrols, one Tu-154 and one Y-8, over the area the day of the announcement and Japan deployed two F-15 fighters to intercept.
China’s ADIZ overlaps Japan ADIZ by approximately half, causing concern the overlap could start a war.
The Chinese ADIZ also overlaps Taiwan (Republic of China/ROC). According to a Nov. 24 statement by Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Taiwan will “adhere to the principles set forth in the East China Sea Peace Initiative [set forth by President Ma Ying-jeou on Aug 5), with the aim of resolving disputes peacefully, while taking appropriate measures to ensure the safety of ROC airspace.” Ma’s five-point peace initiative urges all “parties to refrain from antagonistic actions; not abandon dialogue; observe international law; resolve disputes through peaceful means; and form a mechanism for exploring and developing resources on a cooperative basis.”
US Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement on Nov. 23 urging China not to impose a “unilateral action” that “constitutes an attempt to change the status quo in the East China Sea.” Further, the US is “deeply concerned” about the announcement and “escalatory action will only increase tensions in the region and create risks of an incident.”