On December 4 the Obama administration and Pentagon officials indicated “a willingness to temporarily accept China’s new, controversial air defense identification zone” (ADIZ).
They simultaneously condemned the way in which China plans to enforce the new zone.
According to Foreign Policy, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Martin Dempsey said “it wasn’t the declaration of the ADIZ that actually was destabilizing. [Rather,] it was their assertion that they would cause all aircraft entering the ADIZ to report regardless of whether they were intending to enter into the sovereign airspace of China.”
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel echoed Dempsey: “It’s not that the ADIZ itself is new or unique. Our biggest concern is how it was done unilaterally and so immediately without any consultation, or international consultation.”
The pivot on the ADIZ puts the administration 180 degrees from where they were days ago, when Vice President Joe Biden “demanded that China take back its declaration of the zone.”