Mon, Oct 08, 2012 - Page 8

Solution lies in Nauru

I would normally never use such a forum for discussing matters of a political nature, but I feel current tensions between your government and China and Japan compel me to speak of an idea for a solution.

I propose that all the three governments involved might consider a face-saving solution: Give the 19km sovereignty of the disputed islands to the Republic of Nauru.

Nauru currently recognizes the government of Taiwan. This is a good start. Taiwan can perhaps spread the idea among the other countries for discussion. If the Republic of Nauru had 19km sovereignty, plus a 320km exclusive economic zone, it might be easier to reach a solution. Any economic region between Nauru, and say Taiwan, that was shorter than 320km would, by international law, be drawn at the midway point. This is true for all three governments involved in the dispute — or in your case perhaps just two, as China is stressing that it is backing Taiwan’s claims to the islands.

It is also quite normal that, in the case of the Nauru/Taiwan zone that an agreement for all economic activity would be exclusive to Taiwan up to the Nauru 19km limit. The same would apply to the respective zone of any other country involved in the agreement.

Then, in addressing matters concerned with the development of resources, it would be quite normal for Taiwan to provide the vast bulk of the financing of any resource development with the Republic of Nauru receiving a modest, but fair royalty fee as well.

The same would be true of China and Japan and each country could point with pride at how they had transferred sovereignty to a Pacific nation which is in need of a new and long-term source of income. All three countries currently engaged in conflict would instead appear to be gracious and generous.

If you investigate the issue you will discover that Nauru already makes something of a national industry by recognizing disputed territories worldwide. What better candidate to also be the solution to this current crisis.

Gary Tucker

Los Angeles, California

Honoring a military hero

Taiwanese pilot Lieutenant Colonel Wang Tung-yi (王同義) died during training at the Luxeuil-les-Bains airfield in eastern France recently. His remains are to be returned to Taiwan, with his lovely wife and baby daughter at the end of this year.

According to local news, he could have bailed out of his Mirage 2000-5 jet before it crashed, but it seems that he chose to sacrifice his life rather than cause a disaster for the people on the ground. He was a real military hero because he practiced the spirit of loving people completely.

The people he saved are not Taiwanese, they were French people.

I learned one very important thing from his sacrifice: He practised humanity because he knew to love mankind to the last minute of his life.

The Republic of China (ROC) military should be proud of his deed — that an air force pilot used his life to protect people. Moreover, his sacrifice proves that military education is successful.

“The country lost a superior pilot, I lost a good son. We both lost him, but I am proud of my son who saved French people before he died,” Wang’s mother said.

Can the ROC military find more service women or men like Wang Tung-yi these days? Today, the military seems to have difficulty teaching service personnel what the military fights for these days. Wang Tung-yi could be a model in Taiwan’s military.

His death does not mean his mission is over; on the contrary, his death offers a way to convey a good message to those in the military.

I am also a military officer. Honestly, his job was more dangerous than mine. Perhaps it is time for the Ministry of National Defense to consider a new way to tell people about him, especially given that he had trained to join the military since he was 15 years old.

His mission is not over because his attitude — which saved those lives — can be taught to military personnel.

After finishing their investigations and after awarding compensation to his family, the Ministry of National Defense needs to hold a meaningful memorial for his contribution.

This would be the right way to make it up to his family, especially his wife and baby daughter.

We feel sadness that he has departed, but we still have to turn this sadness into positive energy. No matter where he is, his spirit exists everywhere. He will not regret being an air force pilot. I salute him.

Chang shin-ping

New Taipei City