PH to China: What's this new air zone?
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang said the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) will ask China to clarify reports about its supposed plan to set up a new Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over waters including the West Philippines Sea.
"We are trying to get a verification on which part exactly the report is reffering to. Based on the report that came out, it is looking like it will be set up near Japan. But the DFA will work to get confirmation on the details of it," said Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte.
Japanese daily Asahi Shimbun reported that working level officials in the Chinese air force have drafted proposals for the new zone, which could set the Paracel islands at its core and could go as wide as the majority of the South China Sea. (READ: China eyes air defense zone South China Sea – report)
The report comes months after Beijing caused consternation with the sudden declaration of an ADIZ above the East China Sea, covering islands at the center of a sovereignty row with Tokyo. (READ: China creates air defense zone over Japan-controlled islands)
China demanded all aircraft provide flight plans when traversing the area, give their nationality and maintain two-way radio communication, or face "emergency defensive measures." Japan, South Korea and others reacted to this with anger.
Beijing claims the South China Sea almost in its entirety, even areas a long way from its shoreline.
The Philipines is also asking China to verify earlier reports about new fishing rules that would require foreign fishermen to seek China's permission if they want to operate in the disputed waters. – with reports from Agence France-Presse