Fri, Jan 25, 2013 - Page 1 News List

MOFA urges calm after island fracas

‘RATIONAL’:Activists aboard a boat that was blocked by Japan as it neared the Diaoyutais said they wanted to place a shrine on the islands and reaffirm Taiwanese sovereignty

Staff writer, with CNA

“Both sides have been in talks to determine a timeline for a second preparatory meeting ahead of a new round of fishery talks,” Su said, adding that the government does not want the protest to affect negotiations.

“We look forward to the second preparatory meeting being held either late this month or in mid-February as originally scheduled,” Su added.

Taipei and Tokyo have already held 16 rounds of talks on fishing rights in the Diaoyutai waters. A preparatory meeting was held last year to pave the way for a long-stalled 17th round of talks.

The long-simmering row over the island chain came to a head in September last year after the Japanese government bought three of the islets from their private owner.

Chinese patrol ships, utility aircraft and jet fighters have since been spotted around the disputed island cluster on several occasions.

In August last year, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) unveiled an East China Sea peace initiative based on the concept of “sovereignty cannot be shared yet resources can be divided.”

The initiative calls for all parties to refrain from provocation, shelve their differences, maintain dialogue, observe international law and resolve disputes through peaceful means.

Ma also called for all sides to seek consensus on a code of conduct for the East China Sea and to establish a mechanism to explore and develop resources in the region.

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