U.S. policy is inconsistent on Asian air defense zone

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013 - 11:10 am

Re "President Obama must finally do his Asia 'pivot'" (Editorials, Nov. 30): The United States' response to China's air defense identification zone is rash and hypocritical. Japan established its own ADIZ in 1969, but in 2010 unilaterally extended its zone to cover Diaoyu/Senkaku islands, whose sovereignty is under dispute between Japan and China. We remained silent, though our official position is one of neutrality on the dispute. In 2012, Japan nationalized three of the islands and retreated from its 30-plus-year-old implicit agreement with China to shelve the dispute. When China responded forcefully but peacefully, we alleged that China had escalated the dispute and endangered regional peace. Likewise, when China proclaimed a reportedly unclear ADIZ policy, we didn't ask for a clarification. We sent two B-52s into China's air defense zone. No wonder China believes the United States Asian 'pivot' is aimed at preventing its re-emergence as a regional power.

-- Ivy Lee, Sacramento

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