Thu, Sep 16, 2010 - Page 3 News List

Wu calls for self-control regarding Diaoyutai dispute

‘UNPRECEDENTED’The premier said the nation would continue to take a ‘hard-line’ stance on the issue, but said no one wanted to see a war over it

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) yesterday urged China, Japan and Taiwan to exercise self-control in view of escalating tensions over the disputed Diaoyutai islands (釣魚台).

“We firmly believe that the nation holds sovereignty over the islands, but this has become a controversial issue that cannot be resolved within a short period of time,” Wu said. “Everyone should control themselves. No one would want to see the three parties [Taiwan, China and Japan] go to war over the Diaoyutais.”

Taiwan, China and Japan all claim sovereignty over the islets, known in Japan as the Senkaku islands.

Taiwan lodged a protest against Japan on Tuesday after a Taiwanese fishing boat heading to the islands to declare Taiwanese fishermen’s fishing rights was turned back by seven Japanese patrol vessels despite the protection of 12 Coast Guard Administration vessels.

Japan’s move prompted about 100 people, led by the Chung Hwa ­Baodiao Alliance, to burn the Rising Sun Flag — a symbol of Imperial Japan that is used by the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force and the Maritime Self-­Defense Force in modified forms — and to throw dead fish at Japan’s Interchange Association in Taipei in protest.

The Taiwanese government expressed “deep dissatisfaction” with Japan following an hours-long standoff between the Taiwanese fishing boat, coast guard vessels and the Japanese patrol boats.

Huang Hsi-lin (黃錫麟), chief executive officer of the alliance and one of the activists on the fishing boat, criticized the Taiwanese government as being “weak” about protecting Taiwanese fishing boats.

Wu yesterday said the government had taken an “unprecedented” hard-line stance to deal with the matter by dispatching 12 coast guard vessels to protect the fishing boat.

Wu said the government’s resolution to protect Taiwanese fishermen and the nation’s territory would remain unchanged, adding that the government will continue to take a “hard-line” stance on the issue.

“We will fight for the nation’s best interests rationally,” Wu said.

Also See: China protest calls grow in Japan row

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