China should scrap air defense zone – Kerry
MANILA, Philippines – US Secretary of State John Kerry criticized China for its unilateral establishment of an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea and warned against a similar move in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
“The US does not recognize that zone and does not accept it. The zone should not be implemented, and China should refrain from taking similar unilateral actions elsewhere in the region and particularly over the South China Sea,” Kerry said in a joint press briefing with Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario Tuesday.
“A country has a right to establish an ADIZ but it has to be done through a process of consultation, work with the international aviation organization and in a way that other nations are consulted,” he said.
China’s ADIZ was seen as a move to unilaterally change the status quo in the region particularly by Japan, a US ally, which is in a territorial dispute with China over the Diaoyu or Senakaku Islands that are covered by the ADIZ.
The Philippines is also involved in a territorial dispute with China over its nine-dash line claim over the entire South China Sea including portions of the Philippines 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone.
An arbitration case has already been filed by the Philippines against China before the international Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands. China has refused to participate in the proceedings.
Kerry said that the US is “fully committed” to the security of the Philippines and that it fully supports the arbitration proceedings as a legal and peaceful means of resolving conflict.
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