Tue, Nov 19, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Activists call for action by president on Diaoyutais

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Activists yesterday urged President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration to take action on the disputed sovereignty of the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) by the end of the year before they take the issue to the International Court of Justice.

The activists, led by former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator Chang Chun-hung (張俊宏), said they were concerned about a possible war between China and Japan, both of which also claim the islands, as Japan recently conducted a large-scale military exercise in the region.

“We call for Ma to invite Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) to sign Ma’s East China Sea peace initiative on a Kidd class frigate, with US President Barack Obama as witness,” Chang told a press conference.

Taiwan has sole sovereignty over the Diaoyutais, the activists said, and if Ma fails to take action, they would submit the case to the International Court of Justice.

Former New Party lawmaker Chien Ta (錢達) said the best solution for the decades-long dispute is handing the islands sovereignty to Taiwan because a war is almost guaranteed to break out between Japan and China if either of them is given sovereignty.

The activists filed lawsuits against Abe earlier this year over his “infringement of Taiwan’s fishing rights” following Japan’s nationalization of three of the islands, known as the Senkakus in Japan, on Sept. 10 last year.

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