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Air Force officials pinpoint ADIZ overlap with China

2013/12/02 23:54:34

Light Orange Area A = 23,000 sq. km. /A+B = 67,000 sq. km. (Graphic from the Ministry of National Defense)

Taipei, Dec. 2 (CNA) Air Force officials said Monday that the overlapping area of Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) and China's ADIZ over the East China Sea covers some 23,000 square kilometers, not 67,000 sq. km. as it said last week.

The Air Force conducts patrols and training operations in the area, and it has not been affected by China's recent demarcation of the ADIZ, said Lt. Gen. Liu Shou-jen, director of the Department of Political Warfare under the Air Force Command Headquarters.

Liu said the original estimate of 67,000 sq. km. included the area west of the median line that divides the Taiwan Strait. It should not have been included because the two sides have agreed not to allow their fighter jets to cross the line.

A small corner of the overlapping zone on the eastern side (Taiwan's side) of the median line should also not be counted because the median line only reaches as far north as 27 degrees latitude, Liu said.

"The military's drill and training in the area remains normal," Liu said at a news conference.

No military aircraft from China has entered the 23,000 sq. km. part of Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) since Beijing's demarcation of its new ADIZ on Nov. 23, he said in response to a reporter's questions.

The news conference was called after lawmakers posed questions over the size of the overlapping ADIZ area with China earlier in the day.

At a hearing at the Legislature's Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee, lawmakers questioned the different figures provided by the Air Force last week and a report presented to the committee by the Ministry of National Defense (MND) for Monday's hearing.

The information provided by the Air Force to opposition Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Chiu Yi-ying indicated an overlapping area of some 67,000 sq.km. But the MND report showed an area of 23,000 sq. km.

Liu apologized for the Air Force's failure to clearly explain the different figures.

According to Lt. Gen. Shen I-ming, the ministry's administrative deputy minister, Taiwan's ADIZ covers an area of 487,000 sq. km. if the area to the west of the median line of the Taiwan Strait is included.

China on Nov. 23 announced its demarcation of the new ADIZ that includes the disputed Diaoyutai Islands, which are also claimed by Taiwan and Japan, and is asking to be notified of any flights passing through the zone.

(By Elaine Hou)
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