The US hopes Taiwan’s new government can make available relevant historical data on the South China Sea and shed light on the status of the Republic of China’s (ROC) “U-shaped line” in the region in the face of international law, National Taiwan Ocean University’s Institute of the Law of the Sea director Robert Chen (陳荔彤) said on Thursday.
The “U-shaped line” refers to the ROC’s formal claim of sovereign territory in the South China Sea post-World War II, in accordance with agreements made in the Cairo Declaration of Nov. 27, 1943, and the Potsdam Declaration of July 26, 1945.
Chen was in Washington last week for an annual meeting of the American Society of International Law.
Photo: Tsao Yu-fen, Taipei Times
According to Chen, US officials said Washington felt President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration did not react strongly enough to China’s large-scale land reclamation projects in the South China Sea, adding that the US felt the Ma administration had not showed great support toward the US sending ships and planes into the region to bolster freedom of navigation and flight.
While the Ma administration’s explanation of the “U-shaped line” is correct, the most important part is the claims based on “historic rights,” Chen said.
Under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), territorial water can only be claimed if it is connected to a nation’s sovereign territory, Chen said, adding that the “U-shaped line” contravened this.
However, Chen also said that the UNCLOS came into effect in 1980, while the ROC had already claimed islands — most notably Itu Aba Island (Taiping Island, 太平島) — in the South China Sea in 1947, adding that despite the ROC government retreating to Taiwan in 1949, the nation’s claim was staked in 1947 and should not be given up lightly.
The incoming government should continue to adhere to such ambiguous claims, Chen said, adding that an “actual takeover” of the islands in the South China Sea had been researched, announced and implemented without dispute at the time.
Chen said he told US officials that Taiwan’s claims had strategic ambiguity and he hoped the US would support such a move, adding that Taiwan would not seek to cooperate with China in the South China Sea, nor would it enter into conflict against China over the issue.
The US Department of State yesterday criticized Beijing over its misrepresentation of the US’ “one China” policy in the latest diplomatic salvo between the two countries over a bid by Taiwan to regain its observer status at the World Health Assembly, the decisionmaking body of the WHO. “The PRC [People’s Republic of China] continues to publicly misrepresent U.S. policy,” Department of State spokesman Ned Price wrote on Twitter. “The United States does not subscribe to the PRC’s ‘one China principle’ — we remain committed to our longstanding, bipartisan one China policy, guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, Three Joint Communiques, and
FATES LINKED: The US president said that sanctions on Russia over Ukraine must exact a ‘long-term price,’ because otherwise ‘what signal does that send to China?’ US President Joe Biden yesterday vowed that US forces would defend Taiwan militarily in the event of a Chinese attack in his strongest statement to date on the issue. Beijing is already “flirting with danger,” Biden said following talks with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo, in which the pair agreed to monitor Chinese naval activity and joint Chinese-Russian exercises. Asked if Washington was willing to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan, he replied: “Yes.” “That’s the commitment we made,” Biden said. “We agreed with the ‘one China’ policy, we signed on to it ... but the idea that it can be
SUBTLE? While Biden said the US policy of ‘strategic ambiguity’ on Taiwan had not changed, the group targeted China and Russia without naming them Leaders of Australia, India, Japan and the US yesterday warned against attempts to “change the status quo by force,” as concerns grow about whether China could invade Taiwan. The issue of Taiwan loomed over a leadership meeting in Tokyo of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) nations — the US, Japan, Australia and India — who stressed their determination to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific region in the face of an increasingly assertive China, although Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the group was not targeting any one country. The four leaders said in a joint statement issued after their talks
Nearly half of Taiwanese believe President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has not done enough to prepare the nation against Chinese aggression, the a poll released yesterday by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation showed. Asked whether the Tsai administration’s military and non-military preparations to defend Taiwan are adequate, 30.6 percent said they were “mostly inadequate” and 18.9 percent said they “very inadequate,” while 25.7 percent said they were “mostly adequate” and 7.1 percent said they were “very adequate.” Another 17.6 percent had no opinion or did not know enough to form a judgement. Still, 51 percent of respondents approved of Tsai’s national defense policy,