China established Air Defense Identification Zone over East China Sea that overlaps Japan’s one

Nov 24 2013 - 4 Comments

Beginning on Nov. 23, China has established an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over a chunk of the East China Sea, that covers the islands (Senkaku for the Japanese and Diaoyu for the Chinese) that being claimed by Japan have been a source of growing tension between the countries.

And, above all, the new ADIZ overlaps a similar existing one established by Tokyo much earlier.

On the first day of existence, the ADIZ was patrolled by PLAAF (People’s Liberation Army Air Force) planes and AEW (Airborne Early Warning) aircraft. And two aircraft, including a Tu-154 and a Y-8 were intercepted by the JASDF (Japan Air Self Defense Force) fighter jets.

Xinhua News Agency has published the whole announcement of the aircraft indentification rules within the new ADIZ released by the Ministry of National Defense:

The Ministry of National Defense of the People’s Republic of China, in accordance with the Statement by the Government of the People’s Republic of China on Establishing the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone, now announces the Aircraft Identification Rules for the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone as follows:

First, aircraft flying in the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone must abide by these rules.

Second, aircraft flying in the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone must provide the following means of identification:

1. Flight plan identification. Aircraft flying in the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone should report the flight plans to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China or the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

2. Radio identification. Aircraft flying in the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone must maintain the two-way radio communications, and respond in a timely and accurate manner to the identification inquiries from the administrative organ of the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone or the unit authorized by the organ.

3. Transponder identification. Aircraft flying in the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone, if equipped with the secondary radar transponder, should keep the transponder working throughout the entire course.

4. Logo identification. Aircraft flying in the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone must clearly mark their nationalities and the logo of their registration identification in accordance with related international treaties.

Third, aircraft flying in the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone should follow the instructions of the administrative organ of the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone or the unit authorized by the organ. China’s armed forces will adopt defensive emergency measures to respond to aircraft that do not cooperate in the identification or refuse to follow the instructions.

Fourth, the Ministry of National Defense of the People’s Republic of China is the administrative organ of the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone.

Fifth, the Ministry of National Defense of the People’s Republic of China is responsible for the explanation of these rules.

Sixth, these rules will come into force at 10 a.m. November 23, 2013.

There are other ADIZs around the world, including one around Canada and U.S extending well beyond the 12NM of national sovereign airspace. However nations can’t claim sovereignity over the whole ADIZs; these are established for security purposes and all aircraft entering inside these special airspaces will be closely monitored and intercepted (if they fail to comply with the rules set for the ADIZ).

Concern around China’s ADIZ is that the presence of many warplanes flying around the disputed islands may not only lead to an interception, but spark a full scale conflict.

The blue line in the following image (credit Alert5.com) shows the boundary of the Japanese ADIZ.

overlapping-JP-CN ADIZ

Image credit: Japan MoD/Xinhua/Alert5

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  • Tim

    In May
    2013, Jap extended its ADIZ westwardi,s only 130 km from the coast of mainland
    China at its closest point.

    • Andy

      I’ve seen this claim elsewhere, but can’t substantiate it. Japan extended its ADIZ west in June 2010 to address a map quirk where Yonaguni island (last in the Ryukyu chain) was split in half by the existing ADIZ set up after WW2. Japan extended it 14nm to cover the entire island, which overlapped Taiwanese administered airspace.

      If you can find a source for the May 2013 extension, I’d genuinely like to see it since I can’t seem to find it

      • Edohiguma

        Because it didn’t happen. It’s likely something Chinese government drones cooked up. There’s no word of it in Japanese media, where it would appear if it was true.

  • Edohiguma

    Senkaku are not claimed by Japan. They are Japanese territory which China lost fair and square in the first Sino-Japanese war. They were never addressed in the post-WW2 treaties as they were not part of territory taken in the second Sino-Japanese war.