MANILA, Philippines – Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said China’s reported plan to establish an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) over the South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea, violates the rules-based order, and that Beijing should desist from it.
“It is my fervent hope that China would not proceed with this planned action for the continued peace and stability in the entire South China Sea,” Lorenzana said in a media statement on Thursday, June 25.
An ADIZ in the South China Sea means China would monitor and control all air traffic above it. China would require aircraft from other countries to identify themselves and seek permission before proceeding, as though it owned that airspace.
Lorenzana said this would go against the rules-based order set by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), under which a Hague tribunal affirmed in a July 2016 ruling the Philippines’ sovereign rights in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the South China Sea – the West Philippine Sea.