Beijing says it could declare air defense zone over the waters if threatened

(From AFP)

Beijing “has the right” to declare an air defense identification zone over the South China Sea, it said on Wednesday as it stepped up denunciations of an international tribunal that ruled against its expansive claims in the strategic waters.

Filipino activists and Vietnamese nationals celebrate on Roxas Boulevard in Manila

Whether Beijing set up such a zone — which would require civilian aircraft to identify themselves to military controllers — depended on “the level of threat we receive”, said vice foreign minister Liu Zhenmin.

“Do not turn the South China Sea into a cradle of war,” he told reporters, insisting: “China’s aim is to turn the South China Sea into a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation”. Read More

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