Taiwan will not work with China to resolve the sovereignty dispute over the disputed Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday, even though a recent poll shows that more than half of respondents support cross-strait cooperation strategies.
“We will not work with China on the Diaoyutais dispute. We have our own policy,” ministry spokesman Steve Hsia (夏季昌) said in a routine press conference.
Following a series of moves recently made by Japan and China to bolster their claims to the island chain — known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan — in the resource-rich East China Sea, Hsia urged the countries involved not to take unilateral action that could destabilize the region.
He also reiterated the government’s stance that “the Diaoyutais are an inherent territory of the Republic of China.”
Hsia’s remarks came as a poll jointly conducted by the Taiwan-based China Times and the China-based Global Times revealed that 51.5 percent of Taiwanese respondents agree on cooperating with China to safeguard the sovereignty of the island group. About 85 percent of Chinese respondents held the same opinion, the poll showed.
Forty-one percent of those polled in Taiwan supported protection of the Diaoyutais via military means, while 91 percent of those polled in China approved of countering Japan’s claim to the territory by military means, according to the poll.
The poll also suggested that 48 percent of the Taiwanese respondents supported cross-strait collaboration on territorial disputes in the South China Sea, while 79 percent of the Chinese respondents held the same opinion.
About 1,500 people each from Taiwan and China participated in the poll, which had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.