The Democratic Progressive Party’s Department of Foreign Affairs on Saturday called for a multilateral approach to the ongoing tensions in the South China Sea.
The DPP’s reiteration of its position that issues related to the South China Sea must be addressed through a multilateral framework came following a draft agreement on the guidelines for the implementation of the Declaration of Conduct between China and ASEAN earlier this month.
“Despite several calls from China for ‘cooperation between the two sides of the strait’ on the South China Sea issue, the DPP urges President Ma Ying-jeou’s [馬英九] administration to take part in multilateral talks with all parties involved in order to serve Taiwan’s best interest and to preserve regional stability,” the statement said in English.
The statement said that when Ma served as Mainland Affairs Council deputy minister in the 1990s, he said that the two sides of the strait must set aside sovereignty differences and work together on the South China Sea issue while “dealing with outside parties in a unified way.”
“The DPP strongly opposes this proposal as we believe that bilateral talks alone will not help in resolving disputes in the region, and will send the wrong message to the international community,” the statement says, adding that disputes in the South China Sea could not be effectively resolved solely through bilateral negotiations.
“We have already seen the escalation of tensions in the region due to military exercises conducted by China, Vietnam, the Philippines and the United States,” it says. “The DPP believes that only open communication channels, through a multilateral cooperation framework, are the best solution to insure the common interests of all relevant parties and to maintain peace and stability in the region.”
DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has indicated that Taiwan has its own viewpoint regarding the Spratly Islands, and it disputes Beijing’s claims over the territory, it says.
“Taiwan should not be restricted to a cross-strait bilateral framework. Only an open multilateral framework will prevent unnecessary tension or potential conflicts in the region,” it says.
Reiterating the “four core standpoints” regarding the South China Sea, the DPP said Taiwan must ensure sovereignty, peace and stability in the region, enhance multilateral cooperation and promote sustainable development.
“These points are in accordance with the Spratly Initiative proposed by the DPP government in -February 2008. The initiative proposed by the DPP advocates for environmental protection, setting aside sovereignty disputes, promotion of sustainable development versus exploiting natural resources and resolving differences through peaceful means,” it said.
The DPP statement came as the China Marine Surveillance (CMS) on Saturday commissioned the 3,000-tonne Haijian 50 surveillance vessel in Shanghai, the latest ship to join the agency’s increasingly modern and heavy fleet.
The CMS, an organ of the State Oceanic Administration, in May announced it would increase personnel, upgrade its existing fleet and acquire new surveillance ships to patrol its territorial waters over the next five years. As part of the 12th Five Year Plan approved by the State Council, 36 Haijian surveillance ships will join the CMS fleet, British defense publication Jane’s Defence Weekly reported at the time.
Last week, Chinese media also announced that the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) had officially launched the Yuzhao-class Type 071 Jinggangshan landing platform dock (LPD). At 19,000 tonnes, the Jinggangshan — the second Type 071 in the PLAN — is the heaviest LPD in the Chinese fleet.
Defense reports say a third Type 071 is being built.
LPDs, which can accommodate helicopters, armored vehicles, boats and soldiers, can be used in both humanitarian and war-fighting missions.
Reports said the official launch appeared to be timed to send signals as tensions continue to rise in the South China Sea.
The Hualien District Prosecutors’ Office has listed six people as suspects in a judicial investigation into a fatal train crash on Friday last week. Fifty people were killed and more than 200 were injured when the Taroko Express No. 408 train slammed into a crane truck that had slid onto the tracks near the entrance of Cingshuei Tunnel (清水隧道) in Hualien’s Sioulin Township (秀林). The office also summoned six officials at the Taiwan Railways Administration’s (TRA) Hualien Engineering Section for questioning about alleged illegal business operations and unsafe work conditions by Yi Hsiang Industry Co and Tung Hsin Construction Co, the two
The navy’s new 10,600-tonne warship is on Tuesday to be christened the ROCN Yushan (玉山), as the nation’s indigenous shipbuilding program reaches a milestone, sources said yesterday. The vessel, previously referred to as the “new landing platform dock,” was at a shipyard with its name freshly painted on the hull with the number 1401, the Liberty Times (the sister paper of the Taipei Times) reported yesterday, citing an unnamed observer. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇), a member of the legislature’s National Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee, confirmed the report in a Facebook post. The NT$4.635 billion (US$163 million) ship is designed
SUPPORTING DEMOCRACY IN ASIA: Twitter aims to ‘play a unique role in enabling the public conversation around important social movements,’ the US company said Twitter has thrown its support behind the “Milk Tea Alliance” of democracy movements in Taiwan, Hong Kong and elsewhere in Asia, defying China at a time when Beijing is punishing Western companies for commenting on what it considers internal matters. The social media company yesterday prominently displayed flags of Taiwan, Hong Kong, Myanmar and Thailand while unveiling an emoji to support democracy advocates in places that have in the past few years seen historic protests and share a love for the beverage. The emoji will automatically show up when users post the #MilkTeaAlliance hashtag, which was posted been 11 million times
DIALOGUE SOUGHT: Washington said it was concerned about the pattern of ongoing attempts to intimidate Taiwan after the 10th day of PLA activity in the region The US on Monday urged Beijing to stop its multifaceted pressure campaign against Taiwan after China sent 25 military jets into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone. “The United States notes with concern the pattern of ongoing PRC [People’s Republic of China] attempts to intimidate the region, including Taiwan,” a US Department of State spokesperson said in an e-mail response to questions. “We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic and economic pressure against Taiwan, and instead engage in meaningful dialogue with Taiwan.” The Ministry of National Defense said that 25 Chinese military aircraft entered the zone on Monday. It was the 10th straight