China in full con­trol of air de­fense zone

Mil­i­tary iden­ti­fies nearly 800 flights by for­eign na­tions in ADIZ: min­istry

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD - By ZHOU WA zhouwa@chi­

The Chi­nese mil­i­tary had iden­ti­fied about 800 mil­i­tary flights from for­eign coun­tries and re­gions in its newly es­tab­lished Air De­fense Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion Zone by Dec 22, a Min­istry of Na­tional De­fense spokesman said on Thurs­day.

At a monthly news brief­ing, Geng Yan­sheng said China has ex­er­cised ef­fec­tive con­trol over the zone in the East China Sea since it was es­tab­lished on Nov 23.

Fifty- six air­lines from 23 coun­tries and re­gions re­ported plans for 21,475 flights, Geng said.

To safe­guard air se­cu­rity, the Chi­nese army launched 87 flights in 51 groups con­sist­ing of re­con­nais­sance planes, early warn­ing air­craft and fighter jets to con­duct rou­tine pa­trols and ur­gent iden­ti­fi­ca­tion tasks, Geng said.

“China will re­spond to each dif­fer­ent air threat as the sit­u­a­tion re­quires to safe­guard its air space se­cu­rity,” he said.

China set up its first air de­fense iden­ti­fi­ca­tion zone in ac­cor­dance with Chi­nese law and in­ter­na­tional prac­tices.

An ADIZ is a de­fen­sive area of air space es­tab­lished by a coastal state be­yond its ter­ri­to­rial airspace to al­low timely iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, mon­i­tor­ing, con­trol and re­ac­tion to po­ten­tial air threats. It al­lows time for early warn­ings and pro­vides air se­cu­rity, mil­i­tary ex­perts said.

“The fig­ures in­di­cate that Bei­jing has been able to con­trol the ADIZ since it was es­tab­lished,” said Li Qing­gong, deputy sec­re­tary-gen­eral of the China Coun­cil for Na­tional Se­cu­rity Pol­icy Stud­ies.

“That shows that the mech­a­nism of the East China Sea ADIZ is ef­fec­tive for safe­guard­ing China’s sovereignty, and pro­tect­ing ter­ri­to­rial land and air se­cu­rity”.

Xing Hongbo, a mil­i­tary re­searcher, said there was a need for China to set up such a zone to re­move pos­si­ble risks be­cause the num­ber of flights over the area has sharply in­creased in re­cent years.

“Set­ting up the zone is an ac­tion taken to bet­ter main­tain nor­mal flight or­der in the re­gion,” Xing said.

Ac­cord­ing to ex­perts, coun­tries such as Ja­pan have fre­quently sent mil­i­tary planes in re­cent years to track and mon­i­tor Chi­nese mil­i­tary air­craft con­duct­ing nor­mal ex­er­cises and pa­trols above the East China Sea, which could add to the pos­si­bil­ity of con­flict in the re­gion.

In an­nounc­ing it had es­tab­lished the zone, Bei­jing is­sued a chart and re­lated air­craft iden­ti­fi­ca­tion rules, un­der which air­craft fly­ing in the zone must pro­vide means of iden­ti­fi­ca­tion in­clud­ing flight plans, ra­dio and transpon­der fre­quen­cies and logo.

The rules also re­quire such air­craft to fol­low the in­struc­tions of the zone’s ad­min­is­tra­tor or its au­tho­rized rep­re­sen­ta­tive. China’s armed forces will take de­fen­sive emer­gency mea­sures to re­spond to air­craft that do not co­op­er­ate in iden­ti­fi­ca­tion or refuse to fol­low the in­struc­tions.

“If all par­ties co­or­di­nate with each other well, the zone will help im­prove flight se­cu­rity in the re­gion,” Xing said.

Naval en­counter

Re­fer­ring to an en­counter be­tween naval ves­sels of China and the United States this month, Geng said the cap­tains of the ships con­tacted each other di­rectly to quickly solve the is­sue.

Geng said China and the US mil­i­taries have var­i­ous mech­a­nisms to com­mu­ni­cate, in­clud­ing de­fense con­sul­ta­tions and work­ing meet­ings be­tween the de­fense min­istries, con­sul­ta­tions on mar­itime is­sues be­tween both mil­i­taries and di­rect phone chan­nels be­tween the de­fense min­istries.

A Chi­nese navy war­ship on a reg­u­lar pa­trol mis­sion again en­coun­tered a US naval ves­sel in the South China Sea sev­eral days ago. The Chi­nese war­ship han­dled the sit­u­a­tion strictly ac­cord­ing to op­er­a­tional pro­ce­dures, the min­istry said in a state­ment on Wed­nes­day.

The de­fense au­thor­i­ties of both coun­tries re­ported in­for­ma­tion to each other via nor­mal chan­nels and com­mu­ni­cated ef­fec­tively about the en­counter, the state­ment said.

The state­ment said some me­dia re­ports that play up the “con­flict be­tween China and the US mil­i­taries” are un­true, stress­ing that the Chi­nese and US armed forces have an op­por­tu­nity to de­velop their re­la­tions and both sides are will­ing to en­hance ex­changes, prac­tice closer co­or­di­na­tion and make ef­forts to main­tain re­gional peace and sta­bil­ity.

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