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People's Daily Online

Seoul makes a fuss about ADIZ entry

People's Daily Online

(Global Times) 08:27, August 24, 2016

South Korean media reported on Monday that three Chinese strategic bombers trespassed into the overlapping area of China and South Korea's air defense identification zones (ADIZ) and approached the disputed Suyan Reef in a military drill by China in the East China Sea. The Chinese bombers left the area after being driven away by South Korea.

The source of the story comes from the South Korean military, and some experts analyzed the move as China's muscle-flexing in response to the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system in South Korea by the US.

Since the ADIZ is not deemed as a country's airspace, it means both China and South Korea are entitled to enter it, including the overlapping area. The South Korean military and media are making a fuss about it.

China has to react to Seoul's insistence on deploying THAAD, which threatens China's national security. We believe Seoul made the decision after careful consideration, and China's response is also level-headed. Seoul will have to pay the price for this decision, and China has many ways to make sure it happens. Beijing doesn't have to rack up the tensions by flex muscles.

The hype of the Chinese warplanes seems to show South Korea's paranoia about China's countermeasures, given they have realized how THAAD has compromised China's national interests. In fact, THAAD only accounts for a mere fraction of China's foreign affairs.

The foreign ministers from China, Japan and South Korea have a meeting on Wednesday in Tokyo. Since China's friction with the other two are at its highest, few fruitful results are to be expected.

The three countries stick out for their economic performances, and are highly open to the outside. It is inevitable that they might engage in disputes due to different appeals to interests. But meanwhile, they have a profound basis for cooperation, which is the reason why Northeast Asia is one of the most prosperous regions in the world.

The diplomatic landscape of Northeast Asia is not decided by some technical skills, but by the willpower of the three countries. Since the US has a powerful influence on the region, it is able to steer the trilateral relationship away from the right path. The political willpower of the three countries matters a lot in these circumstances.

Besides the US' obstructions, Northeast Asia is deadlocked over North Korea's nuclear issues, which have upset a joint effort to nurture strong willpower among the three countries.

Frictions will last in the region for a while. The three countries for now must set up rules to control these frictions, and avoid the worst scenarios.

The three countries should exercise more restraint and prudence, and think twice about the consequences before they act. The more rational they can be, the more stamina the region can have.

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