Experts explain defense identification zone

Updated: 2013-11-24 08:57


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BEIJING - Military experts on Saturday said that the establishment of the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone accords with international common practices.

Military expert Meng Xiangqing said that a country has the right to decide on its own whether or how to set up such zones, without getting permission from other countries, if the move does not violate international laws, breach other countries' territorial sovereignty or affect the freedom of flight.

Military expert Yin Zhuo said that China's establishment of the zone is based on the need to tackle a more complex security environment, and the move is a justified act to maintain the sovereignty and security of the country's territory and airspace.

On Saturday morning, the Chinese government issued a statement on establishing the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone. It also issued an announcement on the aircraft identification rules and a diagram for the zone.

According to Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun, an air defense identification zone is established by a maritime nation to guard against potential air threats. This airspace is demarcated outside the territorial airspace and allows the country to set aside time for early warning and helps defend the country's airspace.

Since the United States established the first air defense identification zone in 1950, more than 20 countries and regions have set up such zones.

Experts said that the announcement of the details of the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone is an important step in increasing military transparency.

Zhang Junshe, a military expert, said that the demarcation of the zone will not only increase the country's air defense early warning ability, but also avoid military misjudgements with foreign aircraft.

Foreign aircraft should report their flights and follow other regulations if they enter the zone, Zhang said.

"That is an important measure for the two sides to understand the situation on the sea and in the airspace in a timely manner," he said.

Yin said that based on different situations, China will take timely measures to deal with air threats and unidentified flying objects from the sea, including identification, monitoring, control and disposition.