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.
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.