- - Wednesday, July 13, 2016

An air defense zone or ADIZ is airspace that a country declares it will protect militarily in order to defend the airspace it considers “sovereign.” After the U.N. tribunal ruling that China’s claim to the South China Sea has no legal basis, a senior Chinese official has declared that the communist country can and will set up such a zone “if threatened” in the disputed region.

The statement from Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin comes a day after an international tribunal said there was no legal basis for China’s claims, reports the BBC.

Mr Liu told reporters that China would establish an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over the South China Sea “if our security is being threatened.”

“Whether we need to set one up in the South China Sea depends on the level of threat we receive,” said Mr Liu. He said he hoped all countries would “work with China to protect the peace and stability of the South China Sea, and not let the South China Sea become the origin of a war.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China’s “territorial sovereignty and marine rights” in the seas will not be affected by the ruling “in any way”.


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