DFA: China envoy statement over air zone ‘hypothetical’
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday dismissed Chinese Ambassador Ma Keqing’s statement that China has “sovereign right” to establish an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the West Philippine Sea as “a hypothetical circumstance.”
“On the statement that China may [establish an ADIZ in] the West Philippine Sea as may have been expressed by Ambassador Ma, we would view this as a hypothetical circumstance which does not merit our comment,” DFA spokesman Raul Hernandez said in a text message Wednesday replying to queries from reporters.
“We have called on China to ensure that its actions should not jeopardize regional security and stability,” he said.
China established its ADIZ in the East China Sea last November 28 that overlapped with the ADIZ of Japan. It also covered the disputed Senkaku or Diaoyu Islands that is being claimed by both Japan and China.
Ma was asked Monday in a press conference about the Department of National Defense’s request for the Chinese governments to not establish an ADIZ in the West Philippine Sea.
“It is within China’s sovereignty to setup the ADIZ. It is also according to the international practice,” Ma said.
“So where and when to set up the new air identification zone is within the decision of the Chinese government and also according to actual needs and ability of China. So right now I cannot tell if there will be new air identification zones. I cannot tell,” she said.
Ma further said that China followed international regulations and that more than 20 other countries in the world have established their own ADIZ.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.