President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday urged the countries voicing concern over China’s new air defense identification zone (ADIZ) over the East China Sea to hold talks with China as soon as possible to restore calm to the region.
“I again solemnly call on related parties to refrain from actions that would elevate tensions in the East China Sea, and to quickly hold bilateral dialogues with Beijing on relevant issues, including the issue of the ADIZ, to restore the East China Sea to its original state as a sea of peace and cooperation,” Ma said.
He made the statement in Taipei at the opening of the International Conference on the 70th Anniversary of the Cairo Declaration.
Ma reiterated Taiwan’s sovereignty over the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) — which are covered by China’s ADIZ and are also claimed by Japan, which calls them the Senkakus — and said the air force will continue its missions and training exercises within Taiwan’s own ADIZ.
“We will express our solemn position to the Chinese authorities through the relevant channels because they did not consult with us before announcing the ADIZ,” Ma said.
He also called on countries involved in the dispute to consider Taiwan’s proposal last year to resolve their differences in a peaceful manner.
He said the Civil Aeronautics Administration has agreed to submit flight plans to China because of security concerns.
China’s Nov. 23 announcement of its ADIZ is controversial, as the zone covers the Diaoyutais.
Japan and South Korea ignored China’s demand to be notified about any flights passing through the zone and have sent military aircraft into the area in recent days, after US aircraft flew through it at the beginning of last week.
Separately, the Ministry of National Defense said it could not rule out China announcing another ADIZ over the South China Sea.
The legislature’s Foreign and National Defense Committee has asked the Defense Ministry, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Security Bureau to offer their evaluations on the impact of China’s ADIZ claim in the East China Sea in a committee meeting scheduled for today.
The Defense Ministry’s report was delivered to legislators yesterday.
According to the military report, the purpose of Beijing’s move also includes an intention to challenge a regional security mechanism long dictated by the US and provide a legal basis for China’s claim in case of future arbitration over sovereignty disputes in the East China Sea.
The ADIZ allows the Chinese to counter US and Japanese air and naval electronic reconnaissance measures in the area, which have long been a source of friction for the Chinese military, the defense ministry added.
An expected increase in contacts between Chinese warplanes and aircraft from other countries could put more pressure on Taiwan’s air defenses, it said, adding that monitoring measures for Taiwan’s own ADIZ will be stepped up to ensure adequate advance warning.
Additional reporting by Rich Chang