While Tokyo continues to play the thief crying “stop the thief,” Washington is again barking up the wrong tree over China’s announcement of the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone.
The Japanese and U.S. hysteria is unnecessary, and potentially dangerous, because it is based on a serious misreading, if not intentional distortion, of Chinese strategic purposes.
Dozens of countries, including Japan and the United States, have their own ADIZs. And the United States, as the inventor of such zones, should be well aware of their defensive nature.
If the world’s sole superpower, with an unrivalled military, needs multiple ADIZs to fend off perceived threats, why should China not need any? This country’s territorial integrity is under constant threat.
Our Defense Ministry made it clear that the zone does not target any specific country. And no country except Japan and the U.S. have voiced concerns. This is because other countries know it is designed to only ferret out hostile intruders.
The United States did not consult others when it set up and redrew its ADIZs. Japan never got the nod from China when it expanded its ADIZ, which overlaps Chinese territories and exclusive economic zone. Under what obligation is China supposed to seek Japanese and U.S. consent in a matter of self-defense?
Instead of calling on Beijing to “exercise caution and restraint”, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry should try to rein in Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his colleagues. The “more collaborative and less confrontational future in the Pacific” he envisages rests more on Japan being sensible and peaceful.