China will face severe consequences and major disadvantage if unilaterally and illegally announces an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in the East Sea (South China Sea), according to Tran Cong Truc, a former head of the Vietnamese Government Border Committee.
This will “be very influential in their own ambition to quickly shorten the distance to rise to the position of superpower, confronting the region with the US,” Dr. Truc told BBC News Vietnamese on June 1, 2020 from Hanoi.
“The responses from the Philippines, recently Malaysia and most recently Indonesia sent a note to the US to protest China’s sovereignty of the U-shaped line and support the ruling of the U Permanent Court PCA are very positive moves to answer and at the same time most effectively prevent attempts and machinations from China,” Mr. Truc added.
Will China’s ADIZ statement be disabled?
Dr. Truc said:
“I think China will suffer legal consequences, if it now provides a manipulation and explanation that deliberately defies all the principles of international law involved in goods operations while China is still a member of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
“If they intentionally publish ADIZ to protect their irrational claims in the South China Sea, the East China Sea or the region, it will make the world more aware of their conspiracy and the nature of their operations and all aspects, and as such, when rejected, China will fall in the lower possition in legal, political and diplomatic as well as defense security level.”
“I think that ADIZ statement will be nullified, because big countries with a strong aviation industry will certainly take measures to not comply with all the illogical things China makes,” he said out.
“In that case, China could be beaten on his back by the ‘stick of his back’ and could not achieve their calculations in the South China Sea, the region, including the sky over it. China will suffer damage, weakness, disadvantage and discredit.”
China has been preparing for 10 years?
On Monday, June 1, the British newspaper, the Express ran a post with headlines that read: ” South China Sea claim: China’s plot to grab disputed area EXPOSED.”
The article states: “CHINA has been preparing for at least 10 years to take control over four areas of the world’s most disputed sea, it has emerged in a fresh warning to both its Southeast Asian neighbours and the US.”
“The plan is also known as an air defence identification zone (ADIZ) and has been in the works since 2010, the same year that it claimed it was contemplating enforcing similar airspace controls over the East China Sea, according to the South China Morning Post.”
The British newspaper cited further from Morning Post South China (SCMP): A source from the People’s Liberation Army who wished to remain anonymous, said that the suggested ADIZ involves the Pratas, Paracel and Spratly island chains in the contested waterway.”
On May 31, SCMP wrote:
“The ADIZ plans for the South China Sea (Chinese designation for the South China Sea) were prepared at the same time as the East China Sea plan – which Beijing said was reviewed in 2010 and launched in 2013.”
SCMP added that they have sources that said the Chinese government is currently waiting for the right time to announce.
“While Beijing may have been discreet about this issue, Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense said on May 4 that it knew about the mainland’s plans,” according to SCMP.
There is no international legal basis?
The possibility that China plans to publish ADIZ is also reported by the regional media.
As early as the first week of May 2020, Taiwanese news site Taiwanese News also quoted an official of the Ministry of Defense of Taiwan in an article titled “China is about to establish ADIZ in the South China Sea.”
“The Ministry of Defense (MND) on Monday morning (May 4) confirmed that China is planning to establish an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in the South China Sea.
An ADIZ is the airspace of a country, in which all civilian aircraft must determine and publish their positions.”
The Ministry of Defense made it clear on Monday night that although China has announced that it will establish an ADIZ in the South China Sea, they have not officially announced it.“
Still according to this source, the Ministry of Defense of Taiwan emphasized that an air defense identification area is usually set by a country according to its national defense needs but it has no basis in international law.
“There are two identification areas: one in the East China Sea and the other in the South China Sea,” the online newspaper quoted Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense as saying more about China’s plans, pointing out that Taiwan also had an ADIZ, in addition to air defense identification areas of Japan and the Philippines.
What can Vietnam and other countries do?
On June 1, regarding the question that Vietnam and other countries in the region and related countries need to do to protect their legitimate rights and interests, in case China declares its ADIZ in the South China Sea, Truc stated:
“Of course, that story has not happened yet, but I think that not only Vietnam but other countries in the region also need to closely follow the situation.
“And in particular, right now, there must be information for the public to understand what the nature of the Chinese ADIZ is.
“How much does it relate to the security of so-called sovereign nations with territories, territorial waters and the sky above?
“Especially the nature and legal value, so we can understand, to avoid the first is subjective, the second is the reaction is too slow, or overreact to the necessary level.
“Because this issue is a unilateral issue, with no international sovereignty, but because China wants to use this to gain its de facto unreasonable claim, Vietnam and other countries should firstly have timely, complete and appropriate information, because now there are many people who do not understand the nature of ADIZ.
“Secondly, in the event that it happens, I think that countries in the region and especially organizations, including the International Civil Aviation Organization, need to have an attitude and a need to speak up, because this is the case will overlap the range of flight information regions (FIRs) assigned to countries.”
“Now, if this area is added by China, will it violate, overlap and obstruct it? In my opinion, it is necessary to have unity and solidarity to have a common voice and timely protest.
“In the end, this is unilateral and it is absurd in the international sky, as well as in the skies where airplanes of countries have the freedom to fly, so countries need to disregard and not to abide, for technical reasons that must be reported, accepted, authorized and if there is a blatant reason that China intentionally disrupts or infringes on economic interests, there must be statements not to let China take advantage of this in order to gain recognition in reality of their irrational claims,” Truc told the BBC from from Hanoi.