China may have shot itself in the foot

Reuters

Hong Kong fishing vessel "Kai Fung No. 2" (2nd L) attempts to depart for the disputed Senkaku or Diaoyu islands, as a police boat (R) intercepts it, in Hong Kong November 13, 2013.

Article Highlights

  • But whatever the reason for the creation of the ADIZ at this time, Beijing may ultimately regret it

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  • In one fell swoop, Beijing has reminded Seoul that South Korea has more in common with Japan than it normally likes to admit.

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  • China’s new ADIZ may prove to be a strategic blunder

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It’s difficult to know precisely what was behind China’s decision to institute an East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) at the weekend. Chinese claims to the contrary, it is clearly meant to up the pressure on Japan in the two countries’ dispute over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands, over which the ADIZ extends. Internal Chinese political dynamics may also be at work here; President Xi Jinping, for example, must be benefitting from taking a strong stance vis-à-vis Japan. But whatever the reason for the creation of the ADIZ at this time, Beijing may ultimately regret it – and not only because it increases the likelihood of a violent incident over the East China Sea.

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About the Author

 

Michael
Mazza
  • Currently the program manager for AEI's annual Executive Program on National Security Policy and Strategy, Michael Mazza has studied and lived in China. At AEI, Mr. Mazza studies defense policy in the Asia-Pacific, as well as Chinese military modernization, cross-Strait relations, and security on the Korean peninsula. He also writes regularly for AEI's Center for Defense Studies blog. In his previous capacity as a research assistant in AEI's Foreign and Defense Policy Studies department, Mr. Mazza contributed to studies on American strategy in Asia and on Taiwanese defense strategy. He is a 2010-2011 Foreign Policy Initiative Future Leader.
  • Phone: 202-828-6027
    Email: michael.mazza@aei.org

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