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Jian-10 fighter jets of China Air Force fly at Yangcun Air Force base on the outskirts of Tianjin municipality in this April 13, 2010 file photo.
Jian-10 fighter jets of China Air Force fly at Yangcun Air Force base on the outskirts of Tianjin municipality in this April 13, 2010 file photo.
(PETAR KUJUNDZIC/REUTERS)

James Manicom

When China seized control of airspace, why was Canada quiet?

Nine days after the fact, Foreign Minister John Baird has expressed the Government of Canada’s concern about the timing and impact of China’s declaration of an Air Defence Identification Zone over the East China Sea. Although the Harper government is loath to involve itself in East Asian security matters, China’s announcement of the zone on Saturday Nov. 23 left Ottawa with little choice. Still, the timing and nature of Canada’s response reveal a poor understanding of the issues involved and the stakes for Canada.