U.S. ‘could change military posture’ if China sets up second ADIZ


The United States has asked China not to set up another air defense identification zone in Asia, warning the move could lead the U.S. military to change its posture in the region, a senior U.S. official said Thursday.

“We oppose China’s establishment of an ADIZ in other areas, including the South China Sea” where China is involved in territorial rows with Southeast Asian countries, Evan Medeiros, senior director for Asian affairs at the National Security Council, said in an interview.

“We have been very clear with the Chinese that we would see that (setting of another ADIZ) as a provocative and destabilizing development that would result in changes in our presence and military posture in the region,” Medeiros said.

The official made the remarks as the U.S. government has strongly reacted to China’s establishment of an ADIZ in November over the East China Sea, saying the move undermined regional stability. Beijing claims the Japan-controlled Senkaku Islands in the area as its own.

Medeiros said the U.S. government has been working with the Japanese government in “very strong coordination” on the ADIZ issue.

Washington thinks Beijing set up an ADIZ over the East China Sea “to try and bolster its claims to disputed territories,” he said, referring to the uninhabited Senkakus, islands that China calls the Diaoyus.

China began to claim the Senkakus in the 1970s after studies indicated there may be vast oil reserves in the surrounding sea bed.

“We do not accept, we do not acknowledge, we do not recognize China’s declared ADIZ,” Medeiros said. Washington has said the Senkakus are covered by its security treaty with Tokyo, which obliges the United States to defend Japan.

Top U.S. officials have criticized China for setting up without prior consultation such a defense zone that overlaps with similar zones operated by Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

Medeiros dismissed a view that the United States will try harder to join hands with China and lead decision-making on international issues under a so-called Group of Two framework. “Nobody wants it,” Medeiros said, referring to the G-2 concept.

The NSC official said there are “serious sources of competition in the U.S.-China relationship and that these need to be managed.”

“When we look at major powers in East Asia who share our interests, who share our values, and who are actively working with us to solve problems, Japan is at the top of the list,” he said.

  • jamesobh

    China has a right to declare her ADIZ in both East and South China Seas and it is really surprising that the US wants to deny China that right. If the US thinks that ADIZ can be destabilizing an area then she herself, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan should also rescind their ADIZ. And till that happens, the US should just mind her own business.

    • Casper Steuperaert

      The Airspace above the Senkaku’s should be nutral airspace

      • jamesobh

        The airspace belong to China only.

  • China Lee

    The United States has an ADIZ along its eastern, western, and southern coast in the Gulf of Mexico. Yet, the U.S. complains about
    China establishing a similar ADIZ?

    The Japanese ADIZ is four times larger than the Japanese land mass. China’s ADIZ on the east coast and along the proposed southern coast will still be a fraction of the Chinese land mass.

    Reasonable people understand that we all play by the same rules.
    There cannot be one rule allowing for ADIZs by the United States and Japan, but attempt to deny the same ADIZ right to China.

  • James Tam

    Stationing Air Force, Navy and Marine even army in Japan by US serves a purpose. US does not want to see another Pearl Harbor. The only outside force to attack US in history was from Japan although it was only half way to the continental US. Positioning a massive military presence in Japan deters Japan from attacking US again. Selling modern weapons to Japan could be another way to control Japan. It would be difficult not to surmise that those weapons would not be disabled if Japan turns them against the US. It only takes a chip or a program in the weaponry to do that. Japan wanting to be a normal country wants US out of its domain and the actions of Abe are designed to do just that. Japan is trying to pull US into a war with China or get them out of Japan. Why would Japan be paying the cost of maintaining the US presence? US just have to play its balancing game in the area and the opposition actually is Japan. Why else would Japan keeps on putting US in embarrassing situations? Was the attempt persuasion by Biden totally ignored by Abe? Abe wants Japan to be back to its ghostly and glory past. Changing history is only one of his ways. Changing the word from “invasion” to “liberation” is rather easy; restarting its potent defense industry is another. It would be interesting if Japan all of a sudden declares itself a nuclear power country. It only has about 44 tons of material good for about 5,000 warheads and in possession of 300+ kg of weapon grade plutonium from US which US wants back but is still waiting for the return. Good luck.