Minister of National Defense Feng Shih-kuan (馮世寬) yesterday said Taiwan would not recognize any designation of an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) that Beijing reportedly plans to establish over the South China Sea.
If China proceeds with its reported plan to declare an ADIZ over the South China Sea, Taiwan will not comply with a requirement for flights to identify themselves in that airspace, Feng said at a meeting of the legislature’s Foreign and National Defense Committee.
Citing sources close to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post on Wednesday last week reported that China was preparing to declare an ADIZ over the South China Sea, two years after it established one over the East China Sea.
At yesterday’s hearing, Feng said Taiwan does not recognize the East China Sea ADIZ and would not accept the rules of any similar demarcation by Beijing over the South China Sea.
China drew condemnation from the US, Japan, South Korea and other nations when it imposed the East China Sea ADIZ, in which aircraft are supposed to identify themselves to Chinese authorities.
Feng, a former fighter pilot, said he would “never recognize the ADIZ, nor report to China” when flying in that airspace.
In his briefing to the committee about Taiwan’s plans to deal with the latest reported development in the South China Sea, Feng also said that Taiwan would ship 40,000 rounds of ammunition for its 40mm guns on Itu Aba Island (Taiping Island, 太平島) in the area sometime between late this month and early next month.
Military vessels are to help the Coast Guard Administration transport the ammunition to Taiping, he said.
The guns are reportedly used to prevent vessels from sailing too close to the island.
Taiwan-controlled Taiping is the largest island in the disputed Spratly Islands (Nansha Islands, 南沙群島), which are claimed by Taiwan, China, the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia.
It is currently guarded by the administration.
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