Academics at a think tank in the US are supportive of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) proposal of a peace initiative to deal with territorial disputes in the East China Sea, Representative to the US King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) said.
During a visit to the National Committee on American Foreign Policy in New York on Friday, King said that the academics there agree that all parties involved in the territorial row should shelve their disputes, maintain dialogue and establish a mechanism for joint exploration of resources near the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台), as Ma has proposed.
Located about 120 nautical miles (220km) northeast of Taipei, the island chain is also claimed by Japan and China.
King said the US academics basically hold the same view as Ma, who wishes to maintain regional peace, avoid conflicts and reduce risks.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal and Agence France-Presse, King also explained the motives of a Taiwanese fishing boat crew that attempted to land on the island chain on Thursday, but was deterred by Japanese authorities.
The attempt represented Taiwan’s latest bid to uphold its sovereignty over the Diaoyutais.
Later, during a visit to the Chinese Community Center of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, he told a group of more than 1,000 Taiwanese expatriates that US-Taiwan ties are their closest in 30 years, partly because of Ma’s low-key, practical and “zero-accident” diplomatic approach. Territorial disputes over the Diaoyutais have escalated since the Japanese government bought three of the islets in the chain from their private owner in September last year.