Zone of Confusion

China’s new air defense identification zone in the East China Sea is potentially dangerous, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh said Wednesday. “I don’t know what their logic was” in creating the zone, said Welsh during a speech at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. “Nobody explained that to me. I just know what it looks like; and it looks like (the Chinese) have created airspace that will cause conflicts.” Welsh acknowledged that the US has an ADIZ, “as do many, many other countries,” he added. Welsh said he hopes “that we will be able to work with the Chinese to make sure there is no misunderstanding, miscommunication, and mistakes” as a result of creating their own. However, he said it’s unfortunate that the Chinese ADIZ “overlaps” those of Japan and South Korea. “All the services” he said, are trying to have “more direct communication” with the Chinese military. Welsh visited China in September, and told their air chief the US presence in the Western Pacific “has been good for the stability, security and development” of countries there, “including China.” Korea, Japan, the US, and other countries will “likely continue to operate in that airspace…as a practical matter” he said, and he thinks multi-country talks are needed to address everyone’s concerns.