Make me your Homepage
left corner left corner
China Daily Website

China-ROK co-op key to regional security

Updated: 2013-12-10 16:53
( Xinhua)

BEIJING - With recidivist troublemaker Japan kicking up a fuss about China's establishment of an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) over East China Sea, regional security has now been shadowed by new uncertainties.

Against the backdrop of unnecessary tensions, China and South Korea, two supporting pillars of East Asian stability and security, need to boost dialogue and coordination, enhance mutual understanding on the basis of reciprocal respect, and close ranks to shield regional peace and development.

In fact, all the hype about the Chinese ADIZ -- a legitimate move by Beijing in line with international law and conventions -- is much ado about nothing. Neither does the designation violate or threaten the interests of other countries, nor does it jeopardize the freedom of overflight.

An ADIZ is not a country's territorial airspace; it is a section of international airspace demarcated outside a country's territorial airspace for the purpose of identification and early warning.

At a time of rapid increase in both the quantity and the variety of aircraft, setting up an ADIZ is a necessary step conducive to avoiding misidentification and misjudgment.

Yet Japan, in disregard of common sense and international practice, has launched a vehement attempt to misinterpret and vilify the Chinese move. Ironically, Tokyo has unilaterally expanded its ADIZ twice since taking it over from the United States in 1969. No wonder support is scare for Tokyo's latest gimmickry.

What is undeniable, however, is that as unwarranted as it is, the spate of exaggeration and distortion has somewhat stirred up more tensions and uncertainties in a region that has already been disturbed by Japan's rapid slide to the right and the United States' so-called rebalancing to the Asia-Pacific.

Thus South Korea's recent announcement of an expansion of its ADIZ is regrettable. It is not that Seoul does not have the right to do so, but that the timing implies that the decision is grounded more on emotional impulse than on strategic thinking. It is of no help for the mitigation of the situation.

Under the current circumstances, prudence should precede precipitance in Seoul's decision-making. For the sake of the interests of both countries and the tranquility of the region, South Korea needs to work together with China to foster a security environment in East Asia that is conducive to common development and prosperity.

The foundation of Beijing-Seoul cooperation is solid, and no big hurdles stand in the way ahead. The Suyan Rock, located within the overlapping area of the two countries' exclusive economic zones and often dubbed a territorial dispute, is an isolated underwater reef that does not constitute a territory and thus does not represent a territorial row.

And their coordination is particularly meaningful now, as Tokyo not only continues to deny the atrocities imperialist Japan committed during the WWII, but has repeatedly played with fire, like the farce of purchasing China's Diaoyu Islands, to the detriment of regional security.

South Korea is by no means "a small fry" -- a term the Korean Times employs in a Tuesday editorial obviously with a hint of self-mockery. As a strategic cooperative partner of China and a traditional ally of the United States, it has an important role to play in safeguarding regional peace and security.