The US expects the territorial dispute over the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) to be addressed through peaceful means, a US official said yesterday, one day after Taiwan proposed a peace initiative for the contested East China Sea area.
“We don’t take a position on the question of the ultimate sovereignty of Diaoyutai Islands. We expect claimants to resolve the issue through peaceful means among themselves,” said Sheila Paskman, chief of the public diplomacy section of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT).
Asked whether peaceful means include the East China Sea Peace Initiative proposed by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) on Sunday, Paskman said the US would not tell any claimant how to resolve the issue.
However, Washington expects the dispute can be resolved peacefully, she said.
Taiwan, Japan and China have been involved in heated disputes due to competing territorial claims over the Diaoyutai Islands for several years. Located in the resource-rich East China Sea, the island group is known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan. Highlighting the need for a peace initiative, Ma urged all parties to refrain from taking antagonistic action, shelve their differences, maintain dialogue, observe international law and resolve the dispute via peaceful means.
All sides should also seek consensus on a code of conduct for the East China Sea, and establish a mechanism for cooperation on exploring and developing resources in the region, Ma said.
Ma made the proposal of a peace initiative on Sunday at an occasion marking the 60th anniversary of a peace treaty signed between the Republic of China and Japan following the Second Sino-Japanese War.