Thu, Jan 02, 2003 - Page 4 News List

Lu pays visit to Tungsha

By Brian Hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday declared once again Taiwan is an ocean state, not just an island state, as she visited Tungsha island which sits 444km southwest of Kaohsiung.

"The ROC on Taiwan is an ocean state, not just an island state. The ocean is very important for the development of Taiwan. Taiwan is a country which develops on the basis of the ocean's resources," Lu said.

Lu made the declaration yesterday as she visited the Tungsha island on behalf of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).

Lu also took advantage of the occasion to echo President Chen's New Year's address to the country, in which Chen reiterated "the new middle route" as the guideline for the government's cross-strait policy.

"The point now is not to question whether the president means what he says. What should be questioned is whether China is willing to renounce the use of force against Taiwan," she said.

Minister of the Interior Yu Cheng-hsien (余政憲) visited the island in November.

During Yu's visit, the Coast Guard, which now guards the island, proposed a plan to build a make-shift pier to harbor patrol ships that weigh between 20 and 30 tonnes.

The Coast Guard currently deploys only small patrol boats in the Tungshan. These boats, though capable of moving at high speeds, cannot meet the law enforcement demands in the region.

The administration is scheduled to be restructured and renamed as the "ministry of maritime affairs" in the years to come.

The future development of the CGA will be line with the government's policy toward turning the country into an "ocean state."

On one occasion in May, Lu visited the Kueishan island off Ilan.

"Taiwan should not confine itself to being a marginal island state. It should position itself as an ocean state," she said at the time.

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