No indication China able to establish South China Sea ADIZ
Taipei, May 18 (CNA) There is no indication China will be able to declare an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the contested South China Sea in the near term, a senior Taiwanese defense official said Monday.
China has previously declared its intention to establish an ADIZ in the disputed South China Sea, which it claims as part of its territory, Lieutenant General Ye Gou-huei (葉國輝), in charge of military operations and planning at the Ministry of National Defense (MND), said at a Legislative session.
However, there is no indication Beijing is able to do so, he said, emphasizing that China would have to consider a number of factors before seeking to establish an ADIZ.
For example, announcing a new ADIZ, would likely overlap with the existing Philippines' ADIZ, which is the only designated airspace in the disputed region, he went on.
Taiwan's military will continue to observe developments on the issue, he said.
According to the MND, an ADIZ is airspace over land or water in which the identification, location, and control of aircraft is performed by a country in the interest of its national security.
The ministry stressed that an ADIZ is usually established by a country according to its national defense needs. However, no legal foundation for ADIZs is explicitly stipulated in international law, it said.
In November 2013, China announced the establishment of an East China Sea ADIZ that overlaps with those of Taiwan, Japan and South Korea, leading to protests from the three countries.
Since then is has been widely reported that China plans to do the same in the South China Sea.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant General Chen Kuo-hua (陳國華) said during the same legislative session that Chinese patrol aircraft have beefed up patrols in the South China Sea in recent months in an attempt to strengthen its claim of sovereignty over the disputed seas.
Chen was responding to an inquiry from lawmakers who citied foreign media reports that satellite imagery shows a Chinese maritime patrol aircraft on Fiery Cross Reef in the South China Sea in April.
The reef, in the Spratly Islands, is currently occupied by China and is being built into its largest military base in the South China Sea, according to the reports.
Taiwan, along with Brunei, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam, claim ownership of the South China Sea region, either in part or wholly.
At present, Taiwan controls Taiping, the biggest island feature in the South China Sea, and the Dongsha Islands, where it deploys coast guard personnel.
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