malaysia-airlinesA review of China’s recently updated strict rules for aircraft identification over the South China Sea raises immediate questions about a possible Chinese military response to the missing Malaysia Airlines flight that, according to many reports, was last seen over the disputed waters.  Information indicates it is unlikely the Boeing 777, Flight 370 carrying 239 people, went undetected by China’s military, which is highly active in the South China Sea and has specific new contingencies for unidentified flights. Reports indicate the airplane was last picked up by civilian radar over the South China Sea flying northeast before disappearing. Investigators have now expanded the search area to over 35,000 square miles, encompassing the South China Sea toward the Indian Ocean. In November 2013, China faced international condemnation when it imposed its East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone over the sea in what was seen as a grab of parts of the waters. The U.S. responded immediately by flying two B-52 bombers over the airspace unannounced. MORE