Chinese plane enters Kadiz againYet another Chinese military plane entered Korea’s Air Defense Identification Zone (Kadiz) on Tuesday, but this time with information from Beijing through a military hotline.
According to Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), the Chinese jet, believed to be a reconnaissance aircraft of the Shaanxi Y-9 variant, entered Kadiz over the Yellow Sea at around 8:57 a.m. Tuesday morning, leading Seoul to scramble several of its own Air Force jets in response. The plane again entered Kadiz later that day at around 12:25 a.m. before leaving at 1:08 p.m., spending a total of 77 minutes inside the area between the two intrusions.
Yet in contrast to the 25 other times China trespassed into Kadiz without any warning this year, in this case Beijing informed Korea of the motive and trajectory of its jet’s flight after Korean officials requested intelligence about unidentified aircraft, according to an official from Korea’s JCS.
This attitude change may be owed to a vice-ministerial strategic defense dialogue held between the two countries in Beijing last week, in which the two sides agreed to connect additional military hotlines between their militaries and enhance defense cooperation a step further.
From Oct. 21 to 22, Korea’s Vice Defense Minister Park Jae-min met with Lt. Gen. Shao Yuanming, deputy chief of the Joint Staff Department of China’s Central Military Commission, and held discussions over a host of security issues in the region.
The talks were the first time the two countries’ defense officials held military discussions in five years after Beijing withdrew from dialogue as a result of Seoul’s decision to deploy the American Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (Thaad) anti-missile system on its soil in 2015.
The two sides agreed to revise an existing memorandum of understanding in order to further add another military hotline between their navies and air forces, while a separate agreement was signed regarding cooperation in the event of natural disasters.
Currently there is only a single hotline between Korea’s Master Control and Report Center (MCRC) and China’s Northern Theater Command to relay military communication between the two countries, but talks are underway to install an additional channel between a second MCRC base and China’s Eastern Theater Command.
An air defense identification zone (ADIZ) corresponds to the airspace that extends beyond a country’s national territory where a country can interrogate unidentified aircraft and possibly intercept them in the event it detects a threat to its sovereign airspace.
After China declared its own identification zone, Cadiz, in 2013, the number of unauthorized entries by Chinese planes into Kadiz has dramatically increased. Many analysts interpret these growing intrusions as a sign of China’s attempt to expand its military influence in the region.
BY SHIM KYU-SEOK [firstname.lastname@example.org]
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