Island dispute solutions
On Christmas eve, former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) called for a meeting to discuss peace with regards to the issue of the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台), known in Japan as the Senkakus.
Based on the Antarctic Treaty model, I would like to propose that the Diaoyutais be demilitarized and become a marine conservation area.
Modern weapons have been developed to be extremely destructive: Sufficient to destroy the economy of any country and threaten a nation’s survival through war.
If we put peace at the top of the list when dealing with the Diaoyutai Islands issue, things will be less likely to get out of hand. If peace becomes the priority, government military action will not be a potential threat to our lives and property.
Prohibiting armed patrol boats from entering the sea surrounding the Diaoyutai Islands would ensure peace.
The UN, and other international institutions and organizations whose purpose is to promote world peace, such as the Holy See, must be approached to ask them for help to resolve this issue.
A so-called “Diaoyutai Islands Conservation Area and Demilitarized Zone” would also protect Japan from nuclear missile attacks from China.
Standing for peace will benefit everyone and we should encourage it at all cost. This would be positive for both the Chinese and Japanese.
There are precedents in many parts of the world for conservation areas and demilitarized zones. In these zones fishing and military activities are banned.
By banning armed vessels from entering these areas armed conflict can be avoided.
In the case of the tensions around the Diaoyutai Islands, a conservation area and demilitarized zone would be a suitable solution.
The uninhabited Diaoyutai Islands are just like uninhabited Antarctica.
In accordance with the Antarctic Treaty, any national development or military occupation, which might destroy Antarctica, is prohibited. In addition, the continent does not fall under the jurisdiction of any nation.
The same principle could be followed for the Diaoyutai Islands. They should not be occupied by military forces nor be considered to fall under any government’s jurisdiction.
In addition to protecting peace and security, the environment and ecology would be better protected within the proposed “Diaoyutai Islands Conservation Area and Demilitarized Zone.” Nature and wildlife need not be the victims of human over-exploitation.
We should be able to pass the Diaoyutai Islands on to our descendants. This is in line with generational justice.
So, in order to solve this dispute we should encourage governments to create a “Diaoyutai Islands Conservation Area and Demilitarized Zone” to steer away from trouble.
Hopefully, Taiwan, China and Japan can get on and work together for peace within the “East Asian Union,” like the EU.
From promoting a “Diaoyutai Islands Conservation Area and Demilitarized Zone” to entering the stage of international recognition, the world should know that Taiwan is willing to take a neutral position. We do not wish to engage in the struggles of stronger powers such as China, the US and Japan over the Diaoyutai Islands dispute.
Taiwan is a peace-loving neutral nation. Taiwan does not want to resolve disputes by military force, and does not want to favor any of the stronger powers in case of war.
We can announce to the world that in the international arena we are a permanently neutral country, like Switzerland, and always peace-loving.
Peace will protect our prosperity and progress. We accept and welcome people from all over the world in Taiwan who visit for sightseeing and any other peaceful activity undertaken here. If the Swiss can be neutral, so can the Taiwanese.
Let us bravely go forward with confidence toward a goal for the nation of permanent neutrality and peace.