Fri, Aug 17, 2012 - Page 1 News List

MOFA chastises Japan over Diaoyutais

SOFT ON CHINA?While the ministry directed rhetoric at Japan, it was reluctant to speak out against the Chinese activists who landed on the islands without Taiwan’s permission

By Shih Hsiu-chuan and Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff reporters

“President Ma Ying-jeou repeatedly stated that the Diaoyutais are ROC territory, but this incident shows Japan is in actual control of the islands. It’s embarrassing for the government,” Chao said.

“And, when the government claims that the Diaoyutais are ROC territory, it’s not doing anything when people from Hong Kong, Macao and China landed on the island without permission,” he added.

He called on the Ma government to urge both Japan and Diaoyutai activists from Hong Kong, Macao and China to respect the ROC’s sovereignty over the islands.

“The Diaoyutai activists have illegally entered into ROC territory, so the National Immigration Agency (NIA) should do something about it,” Taiwan Solidarity Union Legislator Huang Wen-ling (黃文玲) said.

She added that she did not expect the government to do anything because Ma seems to turn “soft” whenever it comes to dealing with China.

Asked to comment on the criticism, NIA Deputy Director-General Chang Chi (張琪) said it was a complicated issue.

“Certainly, the Diaoyutais are our territory, but it is disputed, with Taiwan, China and Japan all making the territorial claim,” Chang said.

“It’s not an issue that can be dealt with using our domestic laws,” he added.

Mainland Affairs Council Deputy Minister Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀), meanwhile, did not directly answer the question as to whether the activists had illegally entered ROC territory.

“[The question] does not exist, because they [the activists] are in Japanese custody, not ours,” he said.

“Our official stance is that the Diaoyutais are ROC territory, there’s no doubt about it, and the MOFA stressed that stance today in its latest communication with Japan,” Chang added.

Additional reporting by Mo Yan-chih

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