The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday rejected Beijing’s criticism of the party’s “flattery of Japan” over the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) dispute, saying that China’s provocative moves in the region are what should be condemned.
China’s Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Fan Liqing (范麗青) on Tuesday said DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), who is scheduled to return to Taiwan today after a five-day visit to Tokyo, displayed “a lack of national pride” with his “flattery” of Japan on the territorial issue.
“The DPP has its own views and assessment about Taiwan’s national strategic interests. While Taiwan and Japan both claim sovereignty [over the Diaoyutais], they also share the common interests of maintaining peace and stability in East Asia,” Su said in Japan.
“The most urgent task at hand is how to secure fishing rights in the region, where Taiwanese have been fishing for hundreds of years,” Su added.
Su and the DPP delegation visited the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s (LDP) think tank yesterday.
The DPP chairman urged both sides to resolve the issue of fishing rights in waters near the Diaoyutais as soon as possible through peaceful dialogue and again highlighted the friendship between people in the two countries.
DPP headquarters offered a more straightforward counterattack to China’s criticsm, with spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) saying that the DPP has always called for resolving the dispute through bilateral negotiations and that the party “opposes China’s intentional provocation in waters around the Diaoyutais, which are known as the Senkakus in Japan.”
Beijing’s provocation has created tension and instability in the region, he said, adding that Taiwanese would not accept Beijing’s attack on the DPP.
China has no grounds to comment on Taiwan’s affairs when it oppresses Taiwan’s international space, threatens to take Taiwan by military force and has more than 1,000 ballistic missile aimed at Taiwan, Lin said.