Balance Of Power: Beijing may soon declare another air defense identification zone over the disputed Paracel and Spratly Islands and possibly the entire South China Sea as its military power matches its territorial ambitions.
China's plans to define a second new air-defense identification zone, this one in the South China Sea, were reported in the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun. Such a move would follow Beijing's announcement in November of an ADIZ in the East China Sea encompassing the Japanese Senkaku Islands that Beijing claims as its own.
China denies it has any such plans, claiming the news is merely a Japanese provocation. But Beijing has long declared the South China Sea to be its territorial waters and has laid claim to the Spratlys in the southeastern part and Paracels about 200 miles off Vietnam.
After the implementation of the East China Sea ADIZ, Chinese defense spokesman Yang Yujun said in November that "China will establish other Air Defense Identification Zones at the right moment after necessary preparations are completed."
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