China’s unilateral announcement of an Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) in East China Sea hasn’t bothered the Navy much, but the conflict situation unfolding there is ‘under close examination’ if the ADIZ may get extended to South China Sea too, where India has economic interests in Vietnam maritime territory. Navy Chief Admiral D K Joshi had earlier this week said the East China Sea situation was ‘not of immediate application’ to the Navy because its warships, with air element in the form of helicopters or ship-borne aircraft, do not regularly operate there. However, the possibility of a similar scenario in the South China Sea has made the Navy to keep a close watch on how the situation plays out among China, Japan, Taiwan and the US there.
“Yes, we do have units with integral air element and sometimes they do operate (in South China Sea). Therefore, this particular issue (China’s ADIZ in East China Sea) is under close examination,” Joshi said.
China had in late November announced the ADIZ for the East China Sea, half of which overlaps the Japanese ADIZ and parts of South Korea and Taiwan’s ADIZ, leading to a conflict situation there.
The Navy chief also pointed that the Indian Air Force has promulgated an ADIZ in the Indian Ocean region, as it was responsible for the air defence. To another query on possible maritime conflicts in the Indian Ocean Region, Joshi said the Navy did not expect such hostile engagement in the region.