China is preparing an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in the South China Sea, two years after it announced a similar one in the East China Sea, according to sources close to the People's Liberation Army and a defense report.
But one source said the timing of any declaration would depend on security conditions in the region, particularly the United States' military presence and diplomatic ties with neighboring countries.
"If the US military keeps making provocative moves to challenge China's sovereignty in the region, it will give Beijing a good opportunity to declare an ADIZ in the South China Sea," the source said.
The revelation came ahead of the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, a security forum attended by defense officials from various nations, including Admiral Sun Jianguo and US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter. Disputes in the South China Sea are expected to head the agenda of the three-day event, which starts on Friday.