China Review News reported from Washington on the U.S. response to China’s establishment of an air defense identification zone. The following is an excerpt from the report:
The U.S. reaction was fast and strong in responding to China’s move to set up an air defense identification zone (ADIZ). This is not very common in the history of U.S. reactions to Chinese diplomatic moves. Following Japan’s recent media report that China is about to expand its ADIZ to the South China Sea, the United States launched a new wave of criticism to pressure China.
The reason that the United States is strongly against China’s establishment of an ADIZ is twofold. First, the U.S. is worried that China’s move is intended to challenge U.S. dominance in the Western Pacific, as well as the accompanying freedom of flight in international airspace. Second is the fear that, since China and Japan’s air defense zones overlap, if the two sides frequently dispatch planes for law enforcement but lack communication channels and crisis control mechanisms, then in case of an unexpected escalation of the conflict, the U.S. may be dragged into the difficult situation of having to decide whether to fight against China.
What upsets China the most is the following. On the one hand, the United States claims that it does not take sides on the issue of sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands; on the other hand, it constantly stresses that the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty applies to the Diaoyu Islands. This time, Kerry even extended [the treaty] to the entire East China Sea. The United States established an ADIZ 60 years ago. Japan also established an ADIZ as early as 1969. The U.S., however, was so furious when China set up the same type of ADIZ, even sending military airplanes to test China’s reaction. The U.S. Congress did not ratify the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, but it still requires China to act in accordance with the United Nations Convention.
In the Western Pacific region, the Sino-Japanese dispute over the Diaoyu Islands or over the air defense identification zone in the East China Sea is ultimately a Sino-U.S. strategic dispute. If there is no mutual strategic trust between the United States and China, the East China Sea dispute between Japan and China will not have an end.
Source: China Review News, February 10, 2014