The European parliament on Thursday passed a report that for the first time took note of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) peace initiative over the disputed Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) in the East China Sea.
The report says the parliament “takes note of Taiwan’s initiative with a view to reaching a consensus on a code of conduct for the East China Sea and the establishment of a mechanism allowing all sides to cooperate in the joint exploitation of the region’s natural resources, including capacity for the generation of electricity from renewable sources.”
The report adds that the EU welcomed the increasing exchanges between China and Taiwan, and it stresses the improvement in cross-strait ties, but says that relations “are still being seriously undermined by Chinese missiles aimed at Taiwan and by China’s international isolation of Taiwan.”
The report also supports Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international organizations and says that the EU was “pleased” to see millions of Chinese citizens observe via the Internet Taiwan’s presidential and legislative elections on Jan. 14 last year.
The EU recognizes strong cross-strait economic ties, the opening up of Taiwan to Chinese tourists and cultural cooperation, and it also considers the internationalization of trade and investment to be the best guarantor of Taiwan’s stability, the report says.
In addition, the EU urges Taiwan’s government to “accompany its investment in China with investments elsewhere,” it says.
The report, titled EU-China Relations, was written by Bastiaan Belder and includes sections on EU-China strategy, human rights and democracy, cross-strait relations and foreign policy.
Proposed last year, Ma’s peace initiative calls on all parties involved in territorial disputes to refrain from hostile action, to put aside their differences, not to abandon dialogue, to observe international law and resolve disputes through peaceful means.
All parties 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 has said.
Located about 120 nautical miles (220km) northeast of Taipei, the Diaoyutai Islands, known as the Senkakus in Japan, are claimed by Taiwan, Japan and China.