China’s new ‘Air Defense Identification Zone’ (ADIZ) is evidently not a perceived threat to the American Air Force, which just flew two long-range B-52 bombers right through the middle of it. The ADIZ’s chief purpose, of course, is to piss off Japan, but that hasn’t stopped the Americans from adding a jab of their own.
The basic idea of the ADIZ is that certain areas around the South China Sea fall into China’s air-sovereignty, and (oh hey!) some contested island chains happen to be nestled inside. US representatives called the ADIZ announcement an “unnecessarily inflammatory” and “destabilizing” action in the region, which is, presumably, why the Americans have just inflamed and destabilized China’s foreign-policy folk with the fly-over, as the New York Times reports:
In its announcement of the new air defense zone, the Chinese defense ministry said the country would require flight plans, as well as radio and logo identification of all aircraft operating in the zone. The state-run news agency, Xinhua, said that if an aircraft did not supply its flight plan, “China’s armed forces will adopt emergency defensive measures in response.” […]
[Defense Secretary] Hagel noted, “This announcement by the People’s Republic of China will not in any way change how the United States conducts military operations in the region.”
If Hagel gives us some more comments on how the United States “will not in any way change” how it deals with issues in the South China Sea, perhaps we’ll pit him in an Op-Ed face-off against the Global Times.
[Image via Flickr]