China's planned air zone in South China Sea illegal, violates international law — Lorenzana

Patricia Lourdes Viray - Philstar.com
China's planned air zone in South China Sea illegal, violates international law � Lorenzana
This undated photo shows a Chinese H-6K bomber patrolling islands and reef in the South China Sea, including Scarborough or Panatag Shoal.
Xinhua / Liu Rui

MANILA, Philippines — China's reported plan to establish an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in the South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea, would be illegal, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said.

The Defense chief agreed with the sentiments of a ranking United States military official who said such move from Beijing would not only affect the US but all nations in the region.

"First, an ADIZ by China over the entire South China Sea would arrogate unto itself a vast sea considered to be a global commons that has been opened for millennia to all for navigation and fishing," Lorenzana said in a statement Thursday.

Lorenzana also pointed out that Beijing's plan would violate sovereign rights of coastal states over their exclusive economic zones under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which China was a signatory.

"[A] lot of countries will treat this ADIZ as illegal and violative of international laws," Lorenzana said.

Gen. Charles Brown Jr., commander of the US Pacific Air Forces (PACAF), earlier said China's supposed plan to claim an ADIZ in the contested waterway goes against a "free and open Indo-Pacific" where nations can fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows.

Such move from Beijing would impinge upon some of the international airspace of all nations in the region, according to Brown.

"And so, it's important for us to pay attention to something like this. This is probably — it really goes against the rules-based international order, and that's concerning not only for PACAF and the United States, but I would say many of the nations in the region," Brown said in a telephone briefing last Wednesday.

Retired Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio earlier warned that Beijing would soon reclaim Scarborough or Panatag Shoal in the West Philippine Sea after hinting that it will impose an ADIZ in the Rea.

"If they really want to control the South China Sea they have to put up an air and naval base on Scarborough Shoal because there's a hole in their radar missile coverage," Carpio told ANC's "Headstart" on June 11.

A January 2015 report from the US Congress explained that an ADIZ is an area of airspace beyond a country's sovereign territory where it requires identification, location and air traffic control of aircraft in the interest of national security. According to the US Congress report, there is no international law that specifically governs ADIZs "although various norms pertain, especially freedom of navigation."

Beijing claims the South China Sea, part of which is the West Philippine Sea, based on its nine-dash line claim, which has already been invalidated by a United Nations-backed arbitral tribunal in July 2016.

vuukle comment







  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with