Tue, Feb 07, 2017 - Page 3 News List

KMT calls on president to protest over Diaoyutais

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Culture and Communications Committee deputy director Hu Wen-chi speaks at a news conference in Taipei yesterday, accusing the government of making compromises over the Diaoyutai Islands. The sign is a reference to the KMT’s accusations of nepotism in the government’s appointments, showing the likenesses of President Tsai-Ing-wen’s cousin Lin Mei-chu, left, who has been appointed minister of labor, and former premier Frank Hsieh.

Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday urged President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to stop “playing ostrich” and lodge stern protests with Japan and the US regarding the sovereignty of the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) — known as the Senkakus in Japan — which Taiwan, China and Japan claim.

Speaking at a news conference in Taipei, KMT Culture and Communications Committee deputy director Hu Wen-chi (胡文琦) accused Tsai of making repeated compromises over sovereignty and Taiwanese fishing rights in a bid to curry favor with Tokyo and Washington.

“US Secretary of Defense James Mattis’ recent remarks concerning the Diaoyutai Islands insinuate that the US, as well as newly inaugurated US President Donald Trump, acknowledge that the disputed island chain’s sovereignty belongs to Japan,” Hu said.

Hu pointed to the failures of Tsai and Representative to Japan Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) to issue statements rebutting Mattis’ claims as signs that the government is willing to improve bilateral ties with the US and Japan at the expense of Taiwan’s territory and fishing rights.

The KMT official was referring to Mattis’ reaffirmation during his visit to Japan last week of the US’ commitment to defending Japan under the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security.

Mattis said that the treaty also applied to the Diaoyutais, which have been administered by Japan since 1972.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday issued a statement reiterating Taiwan’s sovereignty claims over the islands, saying it would continue to negotiate with Washington on the issue.

“During his inauguration, Tsai vowed to abide by the Constitution and safeguard her nation. Yet at a time when the nation faces external threats to its territorial sovereignty, Tsai and the entire Presidential Office have chosen to keep their mouths shut... Their handling of the matter has disappointed and distressed the public,” KMT Culture and Communications Committee deputy director Tang Te-ming (唐德明) said.

Tang said a head of state incapable of defending national sovereignty does not deserve to be called “president,” and demanded that Tsai lodge protests with the US and Japan over the Diaoyutais rather than “burying her head in the sand.”

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