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Commentary: Safeguarding East Asian security needs closer China-S. Korea coordination

English.news.cn   2013-12-10 16:01:23            

by Deng Yushan

BEIJING, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- With recidivist troublemaker Japan kicking up a fuss about China's establishment of an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) over East China Sea, regional security has now been shadowed by new uncertainties.

Against the backdrop of unnecessary tensions, China and South Korea, two supporting pillars of East Asian stability and security, need to boost dialogue and coordination, enhance mutual understanding on the basis of reciprocal respect, and close ranks to shield regional peace and development.

In fact, all the hype about the Chinese ADIZ -- a legitimate move by Beijing in line with international law and conventions -- is much ado about nothing. Neither does the designation violate or threaten the interests of other countries, nor does it jeopardize the freedom of overflight.

An ADIZ is not a country's territorial airspace; it is a section of international airspace demarcated outside a country's territorial airspace for the purpose of identification and early warning.

At a time of rapid increase in both the quantity and the variety of aircraft, setting up an ADIZ is a necessary step conducive to avoiding misidentification and misjudgment.

Yet Japan, in disregard of common sense and international practice, has launched a vehement attempt to misinterpret and vilify the Chinese move. Ironically, Tokyo has unilaterally expanded its ADIZ twice since taking it over from the United States in 1969. No wonder support is scare for Tokyo's latest gimmickry.

What is undeniable, however, is that as unwarranted as it is, the spate of exaggeration and distortion has somewhat stirred up more tensions and uncertainties in a region that has already been disturbed by Japan's rapid slide to the right and the United States' so-called rebalancing to the Asia-Pacific.

Thus South Korea's recent announcement of an expansion of its ADIZ is regrettable. It is not that Seoul does not have the right to do so, but that the timing implies that the decision is grounded more on emotional impulse than on strategic thinking. It is of no help for the mitigation of the situation.

Under the current circumstances, prudence should precede precipitance in Seoul's decision-making. For the sake of the interests of both countries and the tranquility of the region, South Korea needs to work together with China to foster a security environment in East Asia that is conducive to common development and prosperity.

The foundation of Beijing-Seoul cooperation is solid, and no big hurdles stand in the way ahead. The Suyan Rock, located within the overlapping area of the two countries' exclusive economic zones and often dubbed a territorial dispute, is an isolated underwater reef that does not constitute a territory and thus does not represent a territorial row.

And their coordination is particularly meaningful now, as Tokyo not only continues to deny the atrocities imperialist Japan committed during the WWII, but has repeatedly played with fire, like the farce of purchasing China's Diaoyu Islands, to the detriment of regional security.

South Korea is by no means "a small fry" -- a term the Korean Times employs in a Tuesday editorial obviously with a hint of self-mockery. As a strategic cooperative partner of China and a traditional ally of the United States, it has an important role to play in safeguarding regional peace and security.


Video>>>China expresses regret over S. Korea's move

China regrets ROK air zone expansion

BEIJING, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- China expressed regret over the decision of the Republic of Korea (ROK) to expand its air defense identification zone (KADIZ), a Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Monday.

Spokesman Hong Lei made the remarks after the ROK on Sunday announced a southward expansion of the KADIZ, encompassing submerged rocks within the overlapping exclusive economic zones (EEZ) of the ROK and China. Full story

S. Korean president urges calm, moderate response to DPRK, air zone issues

SEOUL, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- South Korean President Park Geun-hye instructed senior presidential officials Monday to take calm and moderate response to issues of foreign affairs and security such as the ouster of Jang Seong-thaek and the newly announced air defense identification zone (KADIZ).

Park said during a meeting with senior presidential secretaries that the Northeast Asian situations surrounding the Korean Peninsula were changing rapidly, referring to shifts in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s inner circle and air defense zones. Full story

S.Korea decides to expand air defense zone southward

SEOUL, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- South Korea on Sunday announced a southward expansion of its air defense identification zone (KADIZ), encompassing some islands to the south of the Korean Peninsula.

The enlarged KADIZ included the nation's two southernmost islands of Marado and Hongdo as well as the Suyan Rock, a submerged reef within the overlapping exclusive economic zones (EEZ) of China and South Korea, defense ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok told an emergency press briefing. Full story

News Analysis: Seoul sees Biden's China trip for its stance in ADIZ conflict

SEOUL, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- After holding talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden said in Tokyo, the first leg of his week-long trip to East Asia, Tuesday that China and Japan should set up a bilateral "crisis management mechanism" to prevent current tensions from escalating further.

Biden said Washington's priority lied at easing tensions in the region. He fell short of publicly calling for China's immediate withdrawal of its air defense identification zone (ADIZ), which Japan had hoped the visiting U.S. official could mention during the joint press conference. Full story

Spokesman: China and ROK communicate over ADIZ

BEIJING, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- China has maintained communication with the Republic of Korea (ROK) on the East China Sea air defense identification zone (ADIZ), Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Friday.

"We are ready to maintain communication with the ROK side under the condition of equality and mutual respect," Hong said at a regular press briefing. Full story

U.S. NSC official visits Seoul to discuss air defense zone issue

SEOUL, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- Evan Medeiros, a senior director for Asian affairs at the U.S. National Security Council (NSC), made an unofficial visit to South Korea recently to discuss China's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) issue with Seoul government officials, the Yonhap News Agency reported on Thursday.

"South Korea and the U.S. are consulting (on the issue) both in Seoul and Washington. There were consultations with the senior aide Medeiros who visited Seoul recently," Yonhap quoted a senior government official as saying. Full story


Editor: chengyang
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