Balancing Act: China’s Air Defense Declaration

  • Senan Fox


Here, the significance of China’s controversial and somewhat overlooked Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) declaration in November 2013 is examined in general and then specific to the Socotra Rock dispute. The move incorporated the airspace over the submerged feature and included identification rules that aircraft entering the unilaterally declared zone would have to obey. The new ADIZ overlapped with both South Korea’s and Japan’s own respective ADIZs. This spurred South Korea to conduct military activities, some of them including Japan, aimed at publicly rejecting the new ADIZ while also instructing airlines to ignore it. One leading scholar opined at the time that the situation could become ‘extremely dangerous’ if the PRC ever decided to intercept non-complying aircraft. On the domestic front in South Korea, a key consequence was that the declaration caused many people to better comprehend and appreciate the strategic importance of the area in which Socotra Rock is located.


Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) South Korean military activities 


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Senan Fox
    • 1
  1. 1.Kanazawa UniversityKanazawaJapan

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