The United States has stepped up its warnings to Beijing, as the latter prepares to expand its air defense zone in the South China Sea, at the risk of creating a conflict with Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia.

On 23 November 23, Beijing already extended its air defense area in the East China Sea, including the Senkaku Islands claimed by Japan. The United States, South Korea and Japan have decided to ignore Chinese regulations, which nearly caused the destruction on December 5th of the destroyer carrier missiles, USS Cowpens.

All aircraft entering these areas must identify, give their flight plan and remain reachable at all times. Hence, Beijing has already stopped overflights of US spy drones on its eastern flank.

On the whole, China’s position is consistent with international law, except for the disputed areas where caution is called for.

Alizée Ville