Friday, November 29, 2013

Defense chief worried China’s ADIZ may trigger conflict

From the Daily Tribune (Nov 30): Defense chief worried China’s ADIZ may trigger conflict

“What was done by China should have not been done because it’s becoming dangerous. It could trigger an unexpected incident,” he noted.

The US immediately sent B52 bombers to the area after China announced its imposition of ADIZ. South Korea and Japan also denounced Beijing’s move.

Gazmin expressed hopes that the “strong reactions” from the US, South Korea and Japan – all allies of the Philippines, should stop China from pushing through with its ADIZ.

“Common sense will tell you that you should not commit the same mistake, if they recognize that as a mistake. But we will have to wait and see but based on the reaction of several countries, the (Chinese)move is not welcome,” he said.

Gazmin, however, assured the public that the government is closely monitoring the country’s territory as a Chinese aircraft carrier is now deployed in the South China Sea.

“We have monitoring, we are closely monitoring and closely coordinating with our allies,” he said.

The Defense chief also maintained that the Philippine will not resort to military action in dealing with the South China Sea issue.

“It will be subjected to another process which is probably to file a protest,” replied Gazmin when asked what if the Chinese aircraft carrier crosses into Philippine waters.

He stressed the government will not resort to military action.

“We renounced that (use of military action),” Gazmin said.

Meanwhile, Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera will visit the Philippines next week amid increased regional tensions with China’s air defense zone policy.

While Gazmin claimed that there’s no agenda yet on his scheduled meeting with Onodera, he raised the possibility that the revived tension between China and Japan may be discussed.

“Maybe. It depends. It’s a free-flowing discussion. There is no fixed agenda.’

Earlier, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) expressed concern over the deployment of Liaoning, the Chinese aircraft carrier, to the West Philippine Sea.

The DFA said the deployment caused renewed tensions in the disputed area and could be violative of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS).

The Philippines and China are among the countries disputing the Kalayaan Islands Group or the Spratlys that lie in the South China Sea or West Philippine Sea.

Other claimant-countries are Brunei, Taiwan, Vietnam and Malaysia.

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