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Taiwan will reject any ADIZ by China over South China Sea: minister

ROC Central News Agency

2016/06/06 15:41:19

Taipei, June 6 (CNA) Defense Minister Feng Shih-kuan (馮世寬) said Monday that Taiwan will not recognize any designation of an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) which Beijing would reportedly establish over the South China Sea.

If China proceeds with its reported plan to declare an ADIZ over the South China Sea, Taiwan will not comply with the ADIZ requirement for flights to identify themselves in that airspace, Feng said at a hearing of the legislative Foreign and National Defense Committee.

Citing sources close to China's People's Liberation Army, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported June 1 that China was preparing to declare an ADIZ over the South China Sea, two years after it established one over the East China Sea.

At Monday's hearing, Feng said Taiwan does not recognize the East China Sea ADIZ and will not accept the rules of any similar demarcation by Beijing over the South China Sea.

China drew condemnation from the United States, Japan, South Korea and other countries when it imposed the East China Sea ADIZ, in which aircraft are supposed to identify themselves to Chinese authorities.

Feng, a former fighter pilot, said he will "never recognize the ADIZ, nor report to mainland China" when flying in that airspace.

In his briefing to the committee about Taiwan's plans to deal with the reported latest development in the South China Sea, Feng also said that Taiwan will ship 40,000 rounds of ammunition for its 40 mm guns on Taiping Island in the area sometime between late June and early July.

Military vessels will help the Coast Guard Administration (CGA) to transport the ammunition to Taiping, he said. The guns are reportedly used to prevent vessels from sailing too close to the island.

Taiwan-controlled Taiping, also known as Itu Aba, is the largest island in the disputed Nansha (Spratly) Islands, which are claimed by Taiwan, China, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Malaysia. It is now guarded by the CGA.

(By Hsieh Chia-chen and Elizabeth Hsu)

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