Carving up the Skies: China’s New Air Defense Zone

Issue & Policy Briefs January 14, 2014, No. 140

China’s establishment of a new Air Defense Identification Zone has heightened tensions in Northeast Asia, with Japan, South Korea, and the United States having been swift to react to Beijing’s announcement, seen to be a signal of China’s increasing assertion of its interests in the face of the United States’ “Pivot to Asia” policy. Further, with maritime and territorial disputes over islands in the East China Sea, the countries of the region are seeking to dissect the skies above them to help legitimize their claims. However, this also runs the risk of the unintended escalation of conflict.

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