President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said his administration will not give up the Republic of China’s (ROC) territory in the South China Sea, but will continue to seek peaceful means to address territorial disputes in the region.
Although some have advocated that Taiwan should abandon the disputed territories, Ma said they are part of the ROC and cannot be given up easily.
The islands in the South China Sea “are very important,” he said earlier this week in response to questions at a news conference with foreign correspondents based in Taiwan.
The region is rich in natural resources and is an important navigation channel for the ROC, Ma said.
“We should try to resolve the disputes through peaceful means, rather than give up the territory to deal with the problem,” Ma said.
Even if Taiwan abandons its claims, territorial disputes would still remain among the various claimants, he added.
The president reiterated his stance that all parties concerned should engage in negotiations in an effort to alleviate tensions and find resolutions.
“Our basic stance is that sovereignty cannot be compromised, but natural resources can be shared,” he said.
Based on those principles, Taiwan was able to address fishing disputes with Japan and the Philippines, he said, adding that the same model could also be applied to deal with disputes in the South China Sea.
The government claims that the Spratly Islands (Nansha Islands, 南沙群島), Paracel Islands (Xisha Islands, 西沙群島) and Pratas Islands (Dongsha Islands, 東沙群島), as well as the Macclesfield Bank (Zhongsha Islands, 中沙群島) and their surrounding waters are an inherent part of the nation.
However, the islands in the resource-rich South China Sea and their surrounding waters are also fully or partially claimed by China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei.
Asked whether the government is worried about China’s land reclamation projects in the South China Sea, Ma said international law does not forbid such actions.
China is not the only nation engaged in such action, he said, adding that Vietnam is doing the same.
Actions that could trigger tensions in the region are not welcome, Ma said, urging joint efforts by all parties to explore resources.
On the question of whether Taiwan should deploy military personnel on Itu Aba Island (Taiping Island, 太平島) amid the simmering tensions in the South China Sea, Ma said that the nation will continue to post coast guard personnel there to defend its claim to the island.
“I do not think the use of force would be the best solution,” he said.
OVERHAUL NEEDED: The government should improve its agricultural processing capabilities and expand to new markets to limit its reliance on China, an expert said China’s ban on Taiwanese pineapples was “unsurprising,” and Taiwan should have years ago altered its produce export strategies and target customers, experts said. China on Friday abruptly suspended imports of pineapples from Taiwan, saying that it had on multiple occasions discovered “harmful biological entities” on the fruit. Calling it an “unfriendly” move, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said that 99.79 percent of the pineapples sent to China since last year have met China’s import standards. Chiao Chun (焦鈞), the author of Fruits and Politics — A Recollection of Cross-strait Agricultural Interaction Over the Past Decade (水果政治學：兩岸農業交流十年回顧與展望), said that China’s announcement is clearly targeting
‘NOT COLD ENOUGH’: Schools are disregarding Premier Su Tseng-chang’s instruction that students may wear out-of-uniform clothing to stay warm, an association said An investigative report revealed that 72.5 percent of the nation’s senior-high schools and 95.6 percent of junior-high schools punish students for wearing unapproved winter clothes in contravention of educational guidelines, lawmakers and student rights advocates said yesterday. Speaking at a news conference at the Legislative Yuan, the Taiwan Youth Association for Democracy said there is an endemic disregard for the Ministry of Education’s regulations and that private schools are more likely to contravene ministry rules. The report is a compilation of 2,856 student reports about dress code reinforcement at 425 high schools and vocational high schools, the association said. Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌)
DECADES OF INFLUENCE: Over the past 20 years, China has made inroads with Aborigines, funding political campaigns and trips, a legislator said Lawmakers have called on the National Security Bureau to investigate claims of pervasive Chinese influence among Aboriginal communities. Legislators pointed to a surge in communist propaganda and Chinese-funded projects over the past few years, which they say are aimed at infiltrating and buying political influence among Aboriginal communities. “China has for decades carried out wide-ranging ‘united front’ tactics and propaganda campaigns targeting Aborigines,” said Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Ying (陳瑩), a member of the Puyuma community in Taitung County. “Now, they are influencing elections for local councilors and village chiefs, offering money for candidates to mount their campaigns, and to
DISSATISFACTION? If the referendums collect more than 700,000 signatures each, they would have gotten the most signatures in the shortest time, the party said The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) two referendum petitions — one on banning the importation of pork with traces of ractopamine and the other on holding referendums on the same day as national elections — had as of Thursday gathered 691,398 and 674,497 signatures respectively, the party said yesterday. If the petitions collect more than 700,000 signatures apiece, they would have garnered the most signatures in the shortest time since the Referendum Act (公民投票法) was amended in 2017, party officials said. The KMT proposed the “anti-ractopamine pork” or “food safety” referendum just days after President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) announcement on Aug. 28 last