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Negotiating ADIZ
US Response to China: Confused or Well Coordinated?

Diplomatic sources have told Via Meadia that, contrary to the muddled and contradictory reporting by the international media on East Asian tension in recent days, Washington and its allies in Asia have actually been on the same page regarding China’s new Air Defense Identification Zone. The international press has, with a few exceptions, bungled this important story, which is still unfolding.

Several outlets reported that after Vice President Biden landed in Japan the two allies disagreed on how to deal with China’s ADIZ, which overlaps similar zones of Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan—all American allies. The FT, for example, noted that Japan was unhappy when Vice President Biden stopped short of demanding that China rescind the ADIZ. Other outlets reported that some officials in Washington appeared to “accept” the ADIZ; different branches of the US government also seemed to contradict each other in how the US was responding to the issue. Moreover, it seemed that the FAA was instructed to issue an order to US airlines to obey China’s new rules, something Japan and South Korea said publicly their own airlines would not do.

However, as these same sources have indicated, the US and its allies have been doing a better job of cooperating and coordinating the response to China’s aggressive move than the international media has let on. And the Vice President’s trip through East Asia may go a long way toward cooling tension in the region. But it’s difficult to predict what comes next. This is an important story and we’ll be keeping you posted as things keep unfolding.


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  • Corlyss

    I certainly wouldn’t doubt that the media blew the story – they’ve a great track record for that. But I am skeptical so indeed I will keep checking VM for stories related to this issue.

  • Thirdsyphon

    At the risk of repeating myself, I think this crisis is unfolding along the same lines as the last two confrontations with China: the losing side agrees to back down without formally making any concessions, and the winning side agrees not to crow about it. That’s how the 2000 “spy plane” crisis (point: China) and the 2007 antisatellite weapon system crisis (point: US) were resolved in the past, and it’s almost certainly how this ADIZ nonsense is being brought to a merciful conclusion even now.

    WRM has been a perceptive and subtle critic of this Administration, especially when it comes to foreign policy; but his urge to perform this laudable and necessary service can occasionally lead him to seek out fault where no clear ground for finding it exists. On the crisis in Syria, for instance, it is difficult to imagine *any* course of action that WRM would agree with, given how many of his well-reasoned critiques against the Administration’s intervention in Libya are equally applicable there.

  • Kevin

    Am I the only one who thinks the first and second paragraph of this post are quite contradictory? All I took away from this article was that things are quite muddy or perhaps that after a rocky start the administration is coordinating things better with the Japanese, Koreans, etc. Who are the “diplomatic sources” in para one? Administration hacks and sympathizers or more dispassionate observers? Are they credible or not?

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