Taipei calls for calm over zones

Staff writer, with CNA

Mon, Dec 09, 2013 - Page 1

The government yesterday called on all concerned parties to “peacefully resolve” their differences over overlapping air defense identification zones (ADIZ) in East Asia. The call came on the heels of South Korea’s announcement that it had extended its air defense identification zones to its territorial islets and shoals near the Korean Peninsula.

That move followed China’s announcement on Nov. 23 of an air defense identification zones that covers a large part of the East China Sea and includes the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台), which are also claimed by Taiwan and Japan.

“The government of the Republic of China on Taiwan is on top of the latest situation and we call on all concerned parties to settle their differences through peaceful means,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Anna Kao (高安) said.

The US has described China’s new zone as “dangerous and provocative” and said it increases the risk of triggering a crisis, but Beijing has not backed down.

In calling for a peaceful resolution of the issue, Kao reiterated the principles articulated in the East China Sea peace initiative proposed by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) on Aug. 5 last year.

The initiative calls on all parties in East China Sea territorial disputes to exercise self-restraint, not escalate tensions, shelve controversies, maintain dialogue and respect international law.

With tensions in the region flaring, Kao said that the governement called on the parties involved to deal with the disputes through peaceful dialogue and maintain peace and stability in the region.