This is a tough issue for the Chinese authorities. If and when it is established, a South China Sea ADIZ will inevitably lead to suspicions from the US and South Korea. The fact is that the East China Sea ADIZ is very close to Suyan Rock (苏岩礁), an islet disputed by China and South Korea.
China and Japan should have handled the overlapping of their identification zones through diplomatic channels. If Beijing had waited patiently until talks failed and then claimed that it was “forced” to establish the East China Sea ADIZ, it could have gained the upper hand by blaming everything on Tokyo. Instead, the Chinese authorities have adopted a harsh line of “revolutionary diplomacy” that is setting up a clash with Japan.
At present, we can only speculate as to whether this is Xi’s idea, or whether he has no choice but to bet on the ADIZ because he has come under huge pressure from an impatient PLA.
HoonTing is a commentator in Taipei.
Translated by Eddy Chang