"We oppose China's establishment of an ADIZ in other areas, including the South China Sea" where China is involved in territorial rows with Southeast Asian countries, Evan Medeiros, senior director for Asian affairs at the National Security Council, said in an interview with Kyodo News.
"We have been very clear with the Chinese that we would see that (setting of another ADIZ) as a provocative and destabilizing development that would result in changes in our presence and military posture in the region," Medeiros said.
"We do not accept, we do not acknowledge, we do not recognize China's declared ADIZ," Medeiros said. Washington has said the Senkakus are covered by its security treaty with Tokyo, which obliges the United States to defend Japan.
Top U.S. officials have criticized China for setting up without prior consultation such a defense zone that overlaps with similar zones operated by Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
Medeiros dismissed a view that the United States would try harder to join hands with China and lead decision-making on international issues under a so-called Group of Two framework. "Nobody wants it," Medeiros said, referring to the G-2 concept.
The NSC official said there are "serious sources of competition in the U.S.-China relationship and that these need to be managed."
"When we look at major powers in East Asia who share our interests, who share our values, and who are actively working with us to solve problems, Japan is at the top of the list," he said.
China on Saturday dismissed allegations by some Japanese reports that it is to set up an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over the South China Sea and expressed optimism over regional situation.
"In a general view, the Chinese side has yet to feel any air security threat from the ASEAN countries and is optimistic about its relations with the neighboring countries and the general situation in the South China Sea region," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei said in a press release Saturday.
Earlier this week, the Asahi Shimbun daily of Japan reported that China has drafted proposals for the Air Defense Identification Zone over the South China Sea.
Hong said the right-wing forces of Japan have repeatedly clamored about the alleged plan of China to set up ADIZ over the South China Sea. He said this move is of ulterior motive and simply aimed to shift international attention from and cover up the plot to change Japan's pacifist constitution and expand its military power.
"We sternly warned these forces not to mislead public opinions with rumors and play up tensions for their own selfish benefit," Hong said.
Hong stressed that China and the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) share a bright future for their relations. He said China and the ASEAN countries are working together to implement the declaration on the conduct of parties in the South China Sea in a comprehensive and effective way to safeguard peace and stability in the region.
In response to reports about U.S. officials' comments on the issue, Hong said China hopes the relevant parties remain cautious about their words and deeds, maintain a calm and objective stance, make joint efforts with China and make concrete contribution to peace, stability and security in the air and on sea of the region.
Hong said China, as a sovereign country, has all the legitimate rights to adopt all measures, including setting up ADIZ, to safeguard national security in response to the situation of air security. No one should make irresponsible comments on this, Hong said.
President Obama's slow descent into lame-duck status and the prospect of an imminent Clinton presidency are probably also already factors in energizing hawkish anti-PRC/pro-Japan opinion in the US.
As Secretary of State, Clinton was a major advocate of the “pivot to Asia” and, more importantly, a major enabler of Japan’s move to the center of the Asian security equation with her relentless China-bashing, cynical exploitation of the rare-earths crisis, and working with Japan to push the dishonest and counterproductive “China is a threat to freedom of navigation in the SCS” canard. Clinton also made the dubious decision to explicitly affirm inclusion of the Senkakus in the scope of the US-Japan security treaty, reversing an internal Obama administration decision to kiss off the divisive issue.
The PRC was happy to see Secretary Clinton go; I doubt it will be happy to see her return as President (and the hope of making some hay while the sun shines during the last two years of the Obama administration, I believe, drives PRC policy to a certain extent).
And when a genuine Asian crisis does materialize, perhaps thanks to Japanese cupidity in egging on Taiwan’s anti-PRC DPP party (which will very likely also be in power in 2017) in affirming Japanese sovereignty over the Senkakus or, worst case, announcing an independence referendum, the United States will find itself unable or unwilling to rebuke Japan for its pretensions and demand the PRC to back down instead.