Most countries announce their Air Defence Zones (ADZs).The idea being to demarcate the air space as an early warning system. Constant surveillance over the zone pinpoints intruder aircraft on possibly suspicious missions. If well inside the ADZ, fighter aircraft are scrambled and the intruding aircraft intercepted and either politely escorted to outside the Zone or forced down for interrogation of its pilots and even examination of the aircraft and its on-board “spying” technologies.
On one such mission in April 2001, a US EP-3 elint aircraft off Hainan Island coast was engaged by two PLAAF J-8 IIs, with one of the latter trying perhaps to force the issue flew too close to the US plane had a glancing collision. The Chinese fighter went down with the pilot, the damaged US EP-3 was forced down on Hainan, the crew was held for several days, and the plane for many weeks during which time the Chinese scrutinized and perhaps even disassembled the communications eveasdropping technologies before the plane was returned AFTER the US had issued an aopology.
Fast forward some 12 years, PRC declares an Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) Nov 23. Two days later, US B-52 bbrs make a deliberate run into the ADIZ, followed by Japanese and South Koreab airforce combat aircraft the next day. Whereupon Beijing now deploys combat aircraft for active patrolling and, instead of challenging PRC action, Obama Admin quietly advises American airlines to comply with the Chinese ADIZ requirements, to avoid untoward incidents. [See the NYT story at http://nyti.ms/1exqRJH ] So much for Washington sticking up for Asian security interests against China!
The more important thing is the Chinese reaction to the intruding surveillance aircraft in 2001 and its strong response to the wilful violation of its ADIZ by military aircraft of the US and its prime Asian allies. What a contrast to India and IAF’s passivity in the face of provocative and routine buzzing by elint and nuclear sensor-laden US aircraft close-buzzing the Kudankulum and the Kalpakkam complex. India and IAF have done nothing. But then Manmohan Singh regime has made it a habit to do nothing, lest an incident is precipitated. Why should anyone take India seriously?