Presidential Office spokesperson Lee Chia-fei (李佳霏) said that national security authorities are paying close attention to regional developments following China’s declaration of a new air defense identification zone (ADIZ) over an area of the East China Sea, and will keep in close contact with the US, Japan and China to resolve the dispute over the zone peacefully.
She reiterated President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) East China Sea peace initiative and said the government expected the concerned parties to resolve regional disputes through peaceful dialogue and to avoid escalating tensions.
“The Republic of China [ROC] claims sovereignty over the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台), and mainland China’s announcement will not change anything. The government defends our sovereignty over the islands and continues to protect fishing in the region,” she said.
Ma’s East China Sea peace initiative proposes that Taiwan, China and Japan shelve their differences over the sovereignty of the Diaoyutais, pursue peace and reciprocity, and jointly explore the natural resources in the area.
Following Beijing’s announcement on Saturday that the ADIZ had gone into effect at 10am that day, requiring all aircraft flying through the zone to notify China and to obey orders from Chinese officials, Japan and South Korea aligned with the US in condemning the move and refusing to comply with Beijing’s rules for transiting through the zone.
The ROC government has taken a different stance.
On Tuesday, Ma was quoted as saying that China’s ADIZ designation “does not involve airspace, territorial [claims] or sovereignty,” while the Civil Aeronautics Administration asked Taiwanese airlines to abide by China’s rules for safety reasons.
The Yomiuri Shimbun yesterday cited US Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy as praising Japan’s prompt response to China’s unilateral action when she talked to Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida on Monday.
Kishida on Tuesday called for cooperation between the US, South Korea, Taiwan and other concerned countries in demanding that China renounce the ADIZ designation.
The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) yesterday offered no comments on the ROC government’s stance on the issue.
Asked by the Taipei Times about communications between the US and Taiwan on the way Taipei had responded to China’s ADIZ claim, AIT spokesperson Mark Zimmer said that the AIT does not comment on private discussions with its partners.
The US’ stance has been expressed by its recent statements, he said.
“We remain steadfastly committed to our allies and partners. Further, we encourage all parties to be transparent in explaining their security policies to their neighbors,” Zimmer said.
Meanwhile, Japan’s representative office in Taipei yesterday reiterated that Tokyo wished to cooperate with Taiwan, the US and South Korea on the issue.