China Calls For International Community To Respect Its Air Defense Zone
Vice President Biden’s Asia Trip Overshadowed By Chinese Air Defense Zone
Travelling in Asia, Vice President Joe Biden said despite the complexity of US-China relations, conflict is not inevitable. Biden, on a three-day tour intended to bolster trade relations, also reasserted US opposition to China’s newly-established air defense zone.
“We’ve had many disagreements, and some profound disagreements on some of those issues right now, the treatment of U.S. journalists, but I believe China will be stronger and more stable and more innovative if it respects universal human rights,” Biden told reporters.
China was slightly less diplomatic where its ADIZ is concerned.
China’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement suggesting to the United States that it respect its establishment of the Air Defense Identification Zone and Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei reiterated that sentiment saying, “China is justified to establish the Air Defense Identification Zone, which is to protect China’s sovereignty and the safety of China’s territory and air space. It is in line with international laws and practices. Other countries should respect, understand, and cooperate with us.”
While Biden was towing the diplomatic line, Brahma Chellaney writes in The Globe and Mail that the administration needs to take a firmer stance in the face of China’s aggressive posture.
“Let’s be clear: At stake are not just some flyspeck islands but regional power balance, a rules-based order, freedom of navigation and access to maritime resources, including seabed minerals. If China gets its way, it will unlock the path to a Sino-centric Asia. As China accumulates economic and military power, it has increasingly taken to ratcheting up territorial disputes with multiple neighbours. It’s seeking to alter the territorial and maritime status quo,” asserts Chellaney.
Ma Jun, a research fellow with the PLA Academy of Military Science, offers a defense of China’s air defense zone by claiming that China needs “to prevent some unidentified aircraft from intruding on the territorial airspace of a sovereign state, and foreign military airplanes from entering the territorial airspace by accident.”
Jun also puts forward an argument that reflects China’s determination to assert itself and to shape international law to its goals. He writes: “It shows China is willing to participate in the formulation of international rules. Like it or not, China has set up a new “rule of game” in the East China Sea. China will no longer allow others to unilaterally establish international rules, especially those concerning its neighbors and itself. China will not blindly obey to the rules not agreed upon by China as it now has the desire and capability to guarantee the regional security. This is a fact other countries should learn to accept.”