Thu, Aug 30, 2012 - Page 1 News List

MOFA applauds efforts toward Diaoyutai talks

EXCLUDED:Minister Yang dismissed worries that Taiwan would not be included in talks between China and Japan about a growing territorial dispute over the island chain

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan is happy to see the possibility of talks between Japan and China taking place and easing tensions over the contested Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台), Minister of Foreign Affairs Timothy Yang (楊進添) said yesterday.

“We have been talking to Japan about how we can resolve the dispute over the Diaoyutai Islands peacefully and pragmatically,” Yang said of the islets, which are called Senkaku by Japan.

Yang made the remarks in response to media inquiries about the ongoing visit by Japanese Parliamentary Senior Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi to China and a letter written by Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda to Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) that reportedly sought to engage them in dialogue over the dispute.

The Republic of China encourages all types of dialogue, Yang said.

“This is why President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) proposed the East China Sea peace initiative to call for all concerned parties to shelve disagreements and jointly explore potential resources,” he added.

All concerned parties “should not resort to unilateral or drastic actions to resolve disputes” and instead should come to an understanding so that the problems could be resolved in accordance with precepts stipulated by international laws, Yang said.

Yang dismissed concerns that Taiwan would be prevented from participating in talks over the Diaoyutai Islands if a dialogue between China and Japan were established.

“We already have a dialogue mechanism with Japan in place,” Yang said, but he declined to reveal details, including the level of officials involved in the dialogue.

“Out of respect for Japan and in line with diplomatic practices, I cannot offer more comments while negotiations are still ongoing,” Yang said.

Meanwhile, following the adoption of a proposal by the Yilan County Council last week that all its members land on the Diaoyutai Islands in October to assert the country’s sovereignty, more local politicians yesterday expressed their desire to join the trip.

Yilan County Councilor Lin Yueh-hsien (林岳賢) and two colleagues invited Toucheng Township (頭城) Warden Chen Hsiu-nuan (陳秀暖) to place an address plate that reads “No. 1 Diaoyu Road, Toucheng Township” on one of the islands.

The county councilors also urged Yilan County Commissioner Lin Tsung-hsien (林聰賢) to join the trip.

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