Sat, Jul 23, 2011 - Page 3 News List

No collaboration with China on Diaoyutais: Ma

PRACTICAL POLITICS:Ma said that he would not let the dispute over the sovereignty of the Diaoyutai islands affect relations with Japan

Staff Writer, with CNA, TOKYO

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has ruled out aligning Taiwan with China in dealing with issues related to the disputed Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台).

While making this stance clear in an interview with two major Japanese newspapers, the Yomiuri Shimbun and Nihon Keizai Shimbun on Thursday, Ma also expressed his hope that the dispute over the island group could be resolved through peaceful dialogue with Japan.


The Diaoyutais, known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan, are a group of uninhabited islets that lie about 185km off Taiwan’s northeastern tip. They are currently controlled by Japan, but are also claimed by Taiwan and China.

The US took control of the island group after World War II and handed them over to Japan, along with Okinawa, in 1972.


Ma said he has studied the Diaoyutai issue for 40 years and he even wrote his Harvard doctoral dissertation on it. He says the Diaoyutais are Taiwan’s traditional territories.

However, Ma told Japanese readers that he would not let the sovereignty dispute affect relations with Japan.

Ma said he hoped both countries could shelve the dispute and instead work together to explore resources in waters surrounding the Diaoyutais, which are considered to be rich in oil reserves and other natural resources.


The Yomiuri Shimbun said Ma was referring to a squabble between China and Japan in September last year over a boat collision near the Diaoyutais when he said Taiwan would not work together with China on Diaoyutai-related issues.

The paper said that shortly after Ma took office in May 2008, nine Taiwanese patrol ships and private protest vessels entered the waters around the Diaoyuatai. At the time, the Yomiuri said, the Ma administration adopted an apparently strong attitude on the issue. However, Ma later softened his stance and seriously considered steps to strengthen relations with Japan as he came to understand that frayed ties would do no good to Taiwan’s security and economic well--being, the Japanese daily said.

This story has been viewed 2713 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top