Thu, Jun 23, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Government mulling measures to protect nation’s sovereignty

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff Reporter

The government is contemplating possible measures to enhance actions to safeguard the nation’s sovereignty in the South China Sea, Minister of Foreign Affairs Timothy Yang (楊進添) said yesterday.

“Related agencies have been considering how to protect [the nation’s] interests in the region, including sending more personnel from the Coast Guard Administration, having personnel stationed in the area, procuring more advanced equipment or dispatching patrol vessels to the South China Sea,” Yang said.

China claims sovereignty over islands and their adjacent waters in the South China Sea, which contains important shipping routes and is believed to hold rich oil and gas reserves, while Taiwan, Vietnam, Philippines, Brunei and Malaysia also lay claim to parts of the area.

Yang said actions taken by claimants in the disputed area were not helping to resolve the sovereignty controversy and he urged the countries concerned to set aside disputes so that peaceful resolutions could be reached through consultation and dialogue.

He reiterated Taiwan’s position that the Spratly Islands (南沙群島), the Paracel Islands (西沙群島), the Macclesfield Bank (中沙群島) and the Pratas Islands (東沙群島), as well as their surrounding waters, are all an inherent part of the territory of the Republic of China.

As it is a disputed area, Taiwan remains willing to work with other countries to explore resources in the South China Sea to jointly create peace and prosperity, Yang said.

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