And perceived U.S./POTUS weakness no doubt as well.
Technological Progress Gave China Confidence To Declare ADIZ: Analysts
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 November, 2013, 3:40am
KJ-2000 early-warning aircraft
Improvements in the People’s Liberation Army’s air surveillance and control systems helped give Beijing the confidence to create its air defense identification zone (ADIZ) over the East China Sea, military experts said. China is the last major power in the region to set up such an identification zone, as effectively policing the area requires advanced coastal and airborne radar systems and the capability to track, identify and monitor numerous flying objects simultaneously. For years, the PLA struggled to obtain such technologies and develop its own airborne early-warning systems. Western countries put an embargo on the sale to Beijing of the necessary equipment after the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989.
Nearly a quarter of a century later, the country finally had the hardware and software
to police its own ADIZ, said Xu Guangyu , a retired PLA general. “The declaration is not only a testament to China’s awareness of the need to protect its rights in the air and at sea, it also shows the PLA’s capabilities of mastering the technology,” Xu said.
“The PLA’s air defense systems have undergone some major upgrades over the years, achieving improvements in early-warning equipment, air reconnaissance and surveillance that enable the military to deal with all sorts of foreign flying objects entering into the Chinese air defense identification zone,” he added. The centrepieces of China’s new air surveillance system are the airborne early-warning and control systems developed by the PLA. China is one of only four countries – Israel, Russia and the United States being the others – to have mastered such systems. The military unveiled its KJ-200 and KJ-2000 early-warning aircraft in 2009. Beijing has refused to disclose the exact number of the airplanes in service. Earlier this month, photos of the PLA’s next generation early-warning aircraft appeared on mainland military websites.
The plane, which military enthusiasts have been calling the KJ-500, is reportedly smaller and more agile than previous aircraft. Beijing-based naval expert Li Jie said the early-warning aircraft and other new aircraft had given the PLA an edge over regional rivals, such as the Japan Self-Defence Forces. “In terms of the number of aircraft, including the early-warning planes and other multi-purpose fighter jets, as well as the logistic support in the East China Sea, the PLA is ahead of the Japan Air Self-Defence Force,” Li said. “Japan’s airports and missile defence systems in Miyako, Yonaguni and Naha are all far away from the disputed areas.” Japan has also been upgrading its systems. It recently adopted advanced radar technology for its four E-767 early-warning aircraft. Antony Wong Dong, a Macau-based military observer, said Japan’s air force was more experienced than the PLA’s because of the regular joint drills between the US and Japanese armies. “The PLA is still on its way of military modernisation, with all branches taking time to learn how to co-operate with each other,” he said.