Taiwan demands brief on Diaoyutais

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Sat, Feb 23, 2013 - Page 1

Taiwan demands that the US brief the nation on the summit between US President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe regarding the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台), Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US deputy representative Leo Lee (李澄然) said yesterday.

In Taipei, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not immediate comment on whether the request was made or any US response.

Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Steve Hsia (夏季昌) said that Taiwan has maintained smooth communication with the US over issues of vital concern to the nation, through which the two countries have always exchanged in-depth views with each other.

Ahead of the summit scheduled for yesterday in Washington, where the Japan-China spat over the Diaoyutais, known as the Senkakus in Japan, was believed to be up for discussion, the Central News Agency reported from the US city that Taiwan wanted to be kept in the loop.

Lee was quoted by the agency as saying that Taiwan hoped that the US would inform Taiwan of their discussion about the Diaoyutais “so that Taiwan can grasp the situation.”

The agency also quoted Lee as saying that Taiwan hoped that the US would also use “Diaoyutais” as a reference to the islands, instead of only “Senkakus,” to “highlight its neutral stance” with regard to the competing territorial claims of Taiwan, Japan and China over the islands.

“We have clearly expressed our position and the US understands that,” Lee said.

In Taipei, at a press conference held yesterday by the ministry to release a video featuring the nation’s sovereignty claim over the Diaoyutais, Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin (林永樂) said that Taiwan “shares the goal of the US and Japan” on the issue — that the countries involved exert self-restraint and work to maintain peace and stability in the region.

The video comprised a series of three short films targeting a national audience to raise awareness and understanding of the government’s claim that the Diaoyutais and their adjacent islets are inherent parts of the Republic of China’s (ROC) territory.

In the video an entertainer, Hung Te-sheng (洪德勝) — better known by his stage name, Honduras (洪都拉斯) — and his partner expound upon the assertion of sovereignty from the perspective of international law, geographical features and history, in the form of a cross-talk performance.

They said that historical archives of the Japanese government have proved that the claim made by Japan that the Diaoyutais were uninhabited islands was a “conspiracy.”

The second part of the video explains how the Diaoyutais were returned to the ROC at the end of World War II.

The third part is an introduction to President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) peace initiative on the East China Sea situation.

A project to shoot a micro film on the subject targeting on international audience is underway.

Lin said the ministry aims to let the people of Taiwan know that the ROC is a “peace advocate,” and is winning support from the international community for its initiative to deal with the issue in a peaceful and rational manner.