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What Happens if China Declared an ADIZ in the South China Sea?

In November 2013, when China surprised Japan, the United States, and the world by declaring an ADIZ in the East China Sea, analysts, media, and U.S. officials warned that the “sky is falling.” In a hail of hyperbole they predicted dire consequences and warned that China may declare a similar ADIZ in the South China Sea.

That was seven years ago and the sky did not fall in the East China Sea or the South China Sea and it won’t this time either. Nevertheless ‘chicken little’-like analysts and media are crying that the “sky is about to fall” in the South China Sea. But even if China does make such a declaration, it might not be destabilizing. Moreover it is U.S. actions that will in part determine whether or not it happens and its consequences.

Let’s put the situation in perspective.

The new alarm has been raised based on a “leak” from an anonymous source in the People’s Liberation Army who says that since 2010 China has been considering declaring an ADIZ encompassing the Pratas, Paracel, and Spratly groups of features.

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