BEIJING, Dec. 3 -- Following is a statement made by Geng Yansheng, spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense, on China's establishment of the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ):
The Chinese government announced the establishment of the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone on Nov. 23, 2013. It is a necessary measure for China to protect its state sovereignty and territorial and airspace security. It is conducive to maintaining flying safety in international airspace, and is in line with international laws and conventions. The announcement of the East China Sea ADIZ has earned understanding and recognition from an increasing number of countries and peoples, but misunderstandings or even distortions also exist. Representing the Chinese Defense Ministry, I make some interpretations on some issues that the outside world is concerned about.
Some people take the ADIZ to be a territorial airspace by falsely saying that China violates other countries' interests; some equate the ADIZ with a no-fly zone, accusing China of severely undermining the freedom of overflight. Both statements are incorrect. An ADIZ is essentially different from territorial airspace or no-fly zones. It is not a country's territorial airspace, but an international airspace demarcated outside the territorial airspace for the purpose of identification and early warning; it is not a no-fly zone, and will not affect the freedom of overflight, based on international laws, of other countries' aircraft. According to international practice, a country can identify and verify aircraft entering its ADIZ. China's ADIZ was established to set aside enough time for early warning to defend the country's airspace, with defense acting as the key point. The zone does not aim at any specific country or target, nor does it constitute a threat to any country or region.
Some people doubt China's monitoring capabilities in the East China Sea ADIZ. The Chinese military's determination and volition to safeguard the security of national territory and territorial airspace are unwavering, and the military is fully capable of exercising effective control over the East China Sea ADIZ. Generally, supervision and control are exercised through reported flight plans and radar response and identification, among other means. Military planes can also take flight if necessary to identify entering targets. Measures to be taken are based on factors such as an entering aircraft's attributes -- military or civilian, the extent of threat, or distance. Fighter planes are unnecessary when an entering aircraft is found to pose no threat to us, but necessary surveillance is needed; when the entering threat is ascertained to reach a certain extent, military aircraft will be mobilized at an appropriate time to dispose of the situation. It is well-known that civil flights pose no threat in most circumstances. China always respects other countries' freedom of overflight according to international laws, so that international flights that fly normally within the rules in the East China Sea ADIZ will not be affected, as such is the fact.