China has recently announced an ADIZ (Air Defence Identification Zone) in the East China Seas. This is bound to generate controversies as part of the zone overlap the Japanese ADIZ zone. Moreover the US as a global hegemon does not like to follow rules set up by other players who are not their allies. Hence oppositions form US and its allies are expected.
Many people have already commented the establishment of the ADIZ will heighten tension in East China Seas. I’m sure the Chinese leaders have deliberated long over it and believe this time the situation is ripe for China to establish its own ADIZ. Over 20 countries including US and Japan have it, and why couldn’t China. The fact that the ADIZ of Japan and China overlap, does not preclude the legitimacy of the ADIZ. It just shows that China and Japan are neighbouring countries. It is also worth noting that Japan’s ADIZ is much larger and the boundaries are even further from that of China.The Japanese air force regularly scrambled jet fighters whenever the Chinese and Russian planes ‘intrude’ into their ADIZ. The Chinese certainty believe they should do that too, as they have the capacity to do that .
China’s view is that the ADIZ is established as part of its security requirement in the course of development as a recognised world power. The US and Japan established ADIZs as security measures, and likewise China wants that too. While Japan and US may not recognise China ADIZ, they cannot prevent Chinese planes from conducting surveillance and intercept planes without necessary identification in the zone. The ADIF zone give Chinese planes and jet fighters valid reason to be near Japanese controlled islands. Previously, its was only the US and Japan planes that manoeuvre close to China shores.
Western media has already released news of US B-52 bombers flying through the zone. This does show that the US defiance and opposition to the China’s ADFZ. But in no way is China losing sleep or face over it because it was not meant to prevent US from flying over the area. What it entails is that China will be monitoring the space over it, and clearly established a zone where its military presence is felt in a way it did not have previously. In a way, this is about changing the status quo, which makes the established power very unhappy. This is a game played at very high level involving very high stake. But whatever it is, the US cannot turn the tide of China’s comprehensive progress. The US or the West in general will slowly learn to adapt in sharing the world with China and others, whether they like it or not.
For all the talks of escalations in the tension, the risk of war is small because no one wants it. Most importantly, Obama and his backers do not want it. It is bad for business and there is no gain in fighting against another established nuclear power for a few pieces of rocks. The US already has enough trouble with its troubled economy and disastrous financial system. At most, the US will loosen the leash for the rabid Abe led government to bark a few notches higher. In the followings days ahead, expect more unflattering rhetoric from the Western mainstream media. including those from Australia, about PRC ‘aggressive’ behaviour and how the West ought to counter it.