Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said yesterday discussions within his party, as well as policies concerning the rise of China, would not only be based on election considerations and domestic political concerns, but would also to take into account the changing military situation in the Asia-Pacific region and would seek dialogue with the US and Japan so as to position Taiwan as a pivotal center in the Asia-Pacific security network.
Su made the remarks in a speech at an international symposium on regional security hosted by the Taiwan National Security Association and Friends of Lee Teng-hui Association in Japan.
Su said the nationalization of three of the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) by Japan has increased tensions and led to instability.
While he called on the Taiwan government to negotiate in earnest with Japan on this issue, he added: “At the same time, China has unilaterally incorporated the Taiwan Strait as lying within its offshore marine territory, but we did not see President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) government voicing a strong protest in that regard.”
“This has deepened the impression of ‘Taiwan belonging to China’ within the international community,” he added.
Su said that the DPP’s policy on China is based on positions that have the interests of Taiwan as a nation as its priority, ensures peaceful interactions across the Taiwan Strait and aims to promote regional stability.
“We are facing an unstable situation due to uncertainties over China’s changing leadership and the social unrest which are inherent in China’s socio-economic underclass, therefore Taiwan and our neighboring countries must use diplomacy, dialogue and peaceful means to resolve possible conflicts,” he said.
“As the US has returned to Asia with enhanced security arrangements, Taiwan is meanwhile compromising this regional security structure due to Ma’s government policy being overly pro-China,” he said.
Su added that recent tensions in the South China Sea are not just sudden happenings, but are very much related to China’s naval ambitions to break through the containment of the First Island Chain of the Asia-Pacific region and even to breach the Second Island Chain.