The disputes over the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) “cannot be resolved by passion alone” and should be dealt with peacefully and rationally, Minister of Foreign Affairs Timothy Yang (楊進添) said yesterday.
Japanese media recently reported that the Japanese government is planning to buy some of the islands in the chain, known as the Senkakus in Japan, with ￥2 billion (US$25 million).
The actions and words of other nations over the Diaoyutais is not contributing to the stability and peace to the region, and they should restrain themselves from being emotional and treat the issue rationally, Yang said while attending the ceremony concluding a workshop for diplomatic staff, reporters and compatriot affairs.
The Diaoyutais are the sovereign territory of the Republic of China (ROC) and the government has made this clear, Yang said.
“If we do not make any comment over international issues, over time the claims made by the other side would be considered an accepted fact,” Yang said, adding that the government would continue to protect the nation’s sovereignty and it was not just “paying lip service” as the media alleged.
Being radical and passionate would only escalate matters into conflict, which would not solve the issue, Yang said, adding that the government’s calls for peaceful resolution to the controversial issue is not just a slogan.
President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) proposed East China Sea peace initiative is proof that the government is willing to do something to bring about the peace and stability to the region Yang said.
Ma’s initiative lists five points: all sides involved should exercise restraint and not cause an escalation of conflict; all sides should engage in dialogue and seek to lay aside points of contention; all sides should follow international law and seek peaceful means of resolution; all sides should seek consensus on the issue and establish a code of conduct in the East China Sea; and all sides should establish platforms of cooperation to jointly develop the area’s natural resources.
Commenting on plans by legislators to visit Taiping Island (太平島) to enforce Taiwan’s sovereignty later this month, Yang said the island was a part of the ROC territory.