China is confident that as neighboring countries and the US adjust to the country’s newly established Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), regional tensions will wind down without military conflict, a Chinese analyst said in an SCMP report. The Chinese Foreign Ministry has also reiterated that the air defense zone is a ‘fact of life’, so get used to it.
The Ministry of National Defence’s creation of the zone over most of the East China Sea two weeks ago has drawn a mix of criticism, condemnation and defiance from China’s neighbours, including relatively friendly ones.
South Korea, for instance, is preparing to expand its own zone to cover a disputed rock. Its president, Park Geun-hye, who has been seen as more open to expanded Chinese ties than her predecessors, announced plans to work closely with US on the issue after meeting US Vice-President Joe Biden on Friday.
Shi Yinhong, an international relations professor at Renmin University, said that the current tensions are not likely to amass to larger military conflict because governments involved won’t want to risk instability in the region.
“That’s why we haven’t seen any actual conflicts so far, because the three sides – Beijing, Washington and Tokyo – all made efforts to prevent any military stand-offs in the air,” he said.
Last week, US Vice President Joe Biden ‘expressed concern‘ in lengthy talks with Xi Jinping over the air defense zone that has been ruffling a few feathers.
According to the NY Times:
Mr. Biden stopped short of calling on China to rescind the zone, something it is highly unlikely to do, given the nationalist sentiments that have been animated by its standoff with Japan. The American military has ignored the zone, sending B-52 bombers last week to fly through it.
Shortly after Mr. Biden arrived, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said the new air defense identification zone was a fact of life that the world needed to accept. The spokesman at the ministry, Hong Lei, described it as a “zone of cooperation, and not confrontation.”
Shi also confirmed that the zone is here to stay.
“it’s impossible for Beijing to withdraw [it],” he was quoted as saying in the SCMP report.