Wed, Oct 30, 2013 - Page 8 News List


When ‘exclusive zones’ aren’t

I sometimes imagine walking into my living room and seeing a neighbor sitting down and watching TV. I then ask him what he is doing there and telling him that this is my “exclusive zone.” I imagine my neighbor agreeing with me, but then claiming that he is in his “exclusive zone” as well.

I would tell him that such a statement makes no sense, that by definition part of one person’s exclusive zone cannot also be part of someone else’s, only to have my neighbor argue that our “exclusive zones overlap.”

In this example, it is clear the neighbor is talking nonsense: To say that an area is part of an “overlapping exclusive zone” makes about as much sense as saying an island is a “big little island” or that a person is “fat thin person.” And yet the government, and indeed this newspaper, continue to use the term “overlapping exclusive zone” as if this actually means something.

This newspaper has many times printed articles regarding China’s claims to and occupation of islands in the West Philippine Sea. However, how are China’s actions in the West Philippine Sea fundamentally different from Taiwan’s actions in the East Philippine Sea? They are not.

Taiwan even threatened to send warships to the East Philippine Sea back in May, an action which would likely have resulted in the condemnation of Taiwan by the international community, which is presumably why it was called off.

For a country that wishes to have the international community recognize its sovereignty, it would be a good idea for Taiwan to recognize the sovereignty of its neighboring countries.

Martin Phipps

Greater Taichung

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