High tension continues over the East China Sea as China demarcated a new air-defense identification zone (ADIZ) about a week ago. Outlining ADIZ was not news; however, what made international headlines was China’s inclusion of the potentially oil rich Diaoyutai islets into its version. For years the ownership of these tiny islets have been controversial, which China, Japan, and Taiwan all claim sovereignty. Things soon became hectic as China sent its Liaoling aircraft carrier battle group south on training and patrol exercises and the U.S. ignored China’s ADIZ announcement and flew two B-52 strategic bombers over it from Guam.
In response to the U.S. and Japan’s call to withdraw its ADIZ, Chinese military spokesman indicated that Japan already had had her ADIZ in 1969 without consulting with neighboring countries. If they wanted China to back down, just remember to remind it again forty-four years later.
Although Taiwan’s Executive Yuan also conveyed its ‘serious concern’ over this ADIZ, few would take it seriously. After all, on the international arena, firepower is still the key. Presently, there are four aircraft carriers maneuvering in this vast area of the Western Pacific, two of the U.S. Navy and one for each of Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force and Chinese Liberation Army Navy.
The U.S. has long regarded the chains of Japan, Okinawa, Taiwan, and the Philippines as her first line of defense. As China rises, the U.S. inevitably feels nervous. For Americans, they do not see anything wrong dispatching combat vessels and aircraft patrolling the international waters and air off the coast of China 365 days a year; nevertheless, they seem unable to accept the fact that China’s military aircraft and naval vessels have the same right to fly and sail the international waters and air off the coast of California, Oregon, and Washington states.
Amnesia is a symptom which Americans has long been acquired. Their War of 1812 with the British was started because they ignored the blockade announced by the Royal Navy and continued to trade with Napoleonic France. And this time they wanted to play the bad guy attempting to block the Chinese. No way!