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.
‘VIRUS DIPLOMACY’: The nation’s expertise in handling COVID-19 was among the reasons that it should not be excluded from the WHO, the European Parliament said The European Parliament this week passed resolutions that support Taiwan’s bid to participate in the WHO and its intention to negotiate a trade pact with Taiwan. During its plenary session from Monday to Thursday, the parliament approved resolutions on the foreign policy consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak and the EU’s trade policy, parts of which were viewed as friendly toward Taiwan by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In a statement yesterday, the ministry welcomed the passage of the resolutions and thanked the parliament for its support for Taiwan. In the first resolution, the parliament cited Beijing’s increasing threats to Taiwan, the crackdown on
The gig began with a nun chanting on stage, but suddenly erupted into a wall of noise unleashed by distorted guitars and screamed sutras — the unique sound of Taiwan’s first Buddhist death metal band. The nation has a vibrant metal scene, but few outfits are quite as eye-catching as Dharma (達摩樂隊), a band that aims to deliver enlightenment via the medium of throaty eight-string guitars and guttural roars. Dressed in robes — black, of course — they use traditional Sanskrit sutras as lyrics, but everything else screams death metal, from bloody face paint on stage to growled vocals, relentless riffs and
LOOPHOLES: The people behind biased media content produced by a Chinese network, likely without sending staff to Taiwan, remain anonymous, a source said Beijing’s latest attempt at psychological warfare through heavily biased online media is aimed at sowing discord and polarizing Taiwanese society, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said. The council’s comment came in response to Chinese network Southeast Television, which late last month began broadcasting an online program featuring commentary by Taiwanese unification supporters that authorities suspect was filmed illegally in Taiwan. To circumvent cross-strait regulations, the broadcaster collaborated with online service provider Baidu to air the series titles Diverse Voices From the Taiwan Strait (台海百家說). Only Taiwanese are shown on camera, without revealing the host, interviewer or production team. In one video, political commentator and
SUPPRESSION: Michael Tsai, a former defense minister, said that Beijing’s list of Taiwan independence advocates contravenes the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights The best way to respond to threats from China against Taiwan independence advocates is for the president to publicly reiterate Taiwan’s sovereignty, former minister of national defense Michael Tsai (蔡明憲) said on Sunday. Chinese media on Nov. 15 said that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was compiling “a list of stubborn Taiwanese separatists and will severely punish them in accordance with [China’s] Anti-Secession Law and hold them accountable for their actions for the rest of their lives.” Chinese media subsequently accused Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) of being a “first-rate war criminal,” because of his policy on mask exports. “The vast majority