ADIZ response a sign
of surrender: academic
By Shih Hsiu-chuan / Staff reporter
The way the government has danced to the tune of China in its recent designation
of an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea is tantamount
to a ¡§tacit acknowledgement¡¨ that China has sovereignty over Taiwan¡¦s
territorial airspace, an academic said yesterday.
China declared the ADIZ with the intent to claim that the airspace over Taiwan
falls within its jurisdiction, and the Taiwanese government¡¦s docile response
can be interpreted as an agreement to hand over sovereignty to China under
international law, said Chris Huang (¶À©~¥¿), an associate professor at the
Institute of Law for Science and Technology at National Tsing Hua University.
In response to the move by China, the government said that ADIZ demarcation is
not an issue about territorial airspace or territorial sovereignty, and thus
decided that flight plans for planes flying through the zone should be submitted
to China as Beijing has requested.
Given that demarcation of an ADIZ is not considered to be legally valid by
international law, China cannot expand its territorial airspace to the large
area over the East China Sea by declaring such a zone, Huang said.
However, China is clearly inclined to claim that the baseline from which its
territorial airspace is measured is Taiwan, which it considers its adjacent
island, rather than the coastline of China¡¦s Fujian Province, aiming to turn the
Taiwan Strait, now regarded as international waters, into its territorial
waters, Huang said.
The failure of the government to voice its strong opposition to the ADIZ
demarcation amounts to an ¡§acquiescence,¡¨ meaning Taiwan has agreed to hand over
sovereignty to China, Huang said.
Huang said that the government¡¦s recommendation that Taiwanese airlines present
their flight plans to China was ¡§an act of surrender,¡¨ adding that the
government is using concerns over aviation safety as an excuse to cede the
country¡¦s sovereignty to China.
Countries like the Philippines or Singapore can choose to abide by the new rules
on the designated airspace because they have acknowledged that Taiwan is part of
China in their joint communiques of establishment of diplomatic relations with
China, ¡§but Taiwan cannot do that,¡¨ Huang said.
One of the reasons cited by the government, that complying with the Chinese
rules was in accordance with practices adopted by the International Civil
Aviation Organization, was a deliberate ¡§deception,¡¨ Huang said.
He said that the UN¡¦s civil aviation body does not require air carriers to
submit flight plans to the aviation authority of a country when they just pass
through its airspace and not land in its territory.
In response to the Taiwanese government¡¦s reaction, China¡¦s Taiwan Affairs
Office spokeswoman Fan Liqing (SÄR«C) said yesterday: ¡§Both sides of the [Taiwan]
Strait are one family, and maintaining the fundamental interests of the Chinese
nation is in line with the common welfare across the Strait, which is also a
common responsibility of the two sides.¡¨
Judging from the government¡¦s response to the ADIZ and what Fan said, the
government had sided with China on the issue and is completely incapable of
defending the nation¡¦s sovereignty, Huang said.