Sat, Dec 07, 2013 - Page 3 News List

INTERVIEW: Government must act on ADIZ: expert

Amid strong reactions from the US, Japan and South Korea over China’s unilateral demarcation of an East China Sea air defense identification zone (ADIZ) that includes the disputed Diaoyutai Islands, Joanne Chang, former deputy secretary-general of the National Security Council and a research fellow at Academia Sinica’s Institute of European and American Studies, warned in a recent interview with ‘Liberty Times’ (sister newspaper of the ‘Taipei Times’) reporter Tzou Jiing-wen that to avoid losing allies, the government must refrain from adopting a ‘none-of-my-business’ bystander attitude toward the matter

China not only possesses nuclear arms, but has also been one of the world’s largest importers of conventional weapons since 2003. What can we do about this growing [cross-strait military] imbalance?

China’s intention to enter political talks with Taiwan has become increasingly apparent, as evidenced by Xi’s statement [at a closed-door meeting with former vice president Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) in Indonesia in October] that the cross-strait political division must not keep being passed on from generation to generation.

We cannot but ask ourselves: What military, economic, diplomatic means will China employ to coerce Taiwan into meeting its demands? Will there be a role for Taiwan in the negotiations between China, Japan and the US on the establishment of rules for aircraft operating within ADIZs? Will China also submit to us the flight plans of its airplanes passing through our ADIZ? How should the two sides of the Taiwan Strait deal with the overlap of their ADIZs?

In the face of the many national security challenges, we must handle the aftermath of China’s ADIZ demarcation with a no-nonsense attitude and prepare ourselves for any possible changes the move could bring to the international environment.

The ruling party [the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)] should lead the way by pushing lawmakers across party lines into reaching consensuses on major diplomatic, economic and national defense issues and mapping out countermeasures.

Translated by staff writer Stacy Hsu

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