South China Sea War: China Prepares ADIZ, Sends Spy Drone

South China Sea War: China Prepares ADIZ, Sends Spy Drone
Shoal Over South China Sea Philippine Fly Boy / Flickr CC by 2.0
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Tension in the highly contested territory in the South China Sea has peaked further with China now planning to establish an air defense identification zone (ADIZ). The plan came after it successfully sent a surveillance drone in the area.


After China successfully established an ADIZ in East China Sea, which received a backlash from Japan, the US, and Vietnam, the country is now preparing its second ADIZ in the region. According to a report from the South China Morning Post, the declaration would largely depend on the behavior of the United States in the region.

In a statement, China’s Foreign Ministry confirmed having such plan, but withholds information as to when will be the declaration be. The ministry added that it’s within the right of any country to declare such ADIZ within its territory.

“Regarding when to declare such a zone, it will depend on whether China is facing security threats from the air, and what the level of the air safety threat is,” the statement said as quoted by the South China Morning Post.

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In 2013, the ADIZ declared by China, covering the Diaoyu Islands, was heavily opposed by its neighboring states with existing claims in the region, particularly Japan that calls the group of islands as Senkakus.

Meanwhile, after China successfully sent fighter jets and ships in one of the most heavily contested maritime zones in the world today, the country has sent some of its surveillance drones in the area, the Diplomat reported.

China’s Harbin BZK-005 surveillance drones are capable of taking ultra-high definition images and are among the latest additional to the country’s military equipment. According to the report, China’s latest drones were spotted on Woody Island sometime in April this year, but it wasn’t clear whether China controls the drone from the Woody Island or someplace else.

Also Read: South China Sea Arbitration: China Will Never Accept Decision From Tribunal

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  • britbob

    Effective sovereignty Argument Uninhabited Islands: A case that supports this view of effective sovereignty is relevant is the Minquiers and Ecrehos Case, France/UK of 17th November 1953. In this case both the UK and France had requested the ICJ to determine which country held sovereignty over the uninhabited Islets and rocks in the Minquiers and Ecrehos. France had claimed sovereignty because of historic sovereignty going back to the Dutchy of Normandy in the 11th century while the UK claimed that Jersey had historically exercised administrational jurisdiction on them. The Court decided that in the absence of valid treaty provisions, they considered the argument that the British government has exercised effective control to be superior, so that sovereignty control over the Minquiers and Ecrehos belonged to the UK. (the UK had protested to the French government when a French national had intended to build a house on one of the islats and any deaths occurring on the islets were dealt with by inquests held on Jersey). ICJ Minquiers & Ecrehos Judgment, 17 Nov 1953, p28, paras 6 & 12.

    No delimitation between states with opposite or adjacent coasts may be affected unilaterally by one of those states. For some interesting judgments on territorial seas and to gain an understanding as to how the world court deals with such disputes:

  • Zephon

    The only habitable islands in the South China Sea are Taiping in the Spratly and Woody in the Paracel chain.

    Both were returned to China per Japan’s surrender agreement after WWII with American support and continue to be lived on by the Chinese.

    All the other islands in the SCS are not naturally habitable and are only habitable because of building on reefs by Vietnam and the Philippines…

    Why the Philippines unilaterally has gone to great lengths to confiscate Chinese territory the world recognized as Chinese just after WWII and long before that war is a travesty of justice.