Beijing’s plans for South China Sea air defence identification zone

Beijing plans for South China Sea air defence identification zone cover Pratas Paracel and Spratly islandsBeijing has been making plans for an air defence identification zone (ADIZ) in the South China Sea since 2010, the same year it said it was considering the introduction of similar airspace controls over the East China Sea in a move that was widely criticised around the world, a military insider said.

The proposed ADIZ encompasses the Pratas, Paracel and Spratly island chains in the disputed waterway, according to a source from the People’s Liberation Army, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The plans for the zone were as old as those for the East China Sea ADIZ – which Beijing said it was considering in 2010 and introduced in 2013 – the source said, adding that Chinese authorities were waiting for the right time to announce them.

While Beijing might have been reticent on the subject, Taiwan’s defence ministry said on May 4 that it was aware of the mainland’s plans.

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