The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus yesterday demanded President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) restate the nation’s sovereignty claims via an international press conference after China included scenic spots from Taiwan in the new Chinese passport.
“We urge Ma to hold an international press conference to assert the country’s territorial sovereignty and demand that Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin (林永樂) recall all the ministry’s erroneous calendars and step down to take responsibility,” DPP caucus whip Pan Men-an (潘孟安) told a press conference in Taipei, accusing Ma of constantly balking in the face of China.
The DPP made the call following a spate of incidents, including China’s contentious inclusion in its new passports of a number of scenic spots in Taiwan, as well as other disputed territories also claimed by Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia, to which the Ma administration only responded by issuing a statement on Friday.
Calendars published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for next year in which a depiction of the territories under the Republic of China’s (ROC) sovereignty failed to include Itu Aba (Taiping Island, 太平島) and the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) were also a reason behind the DPP’s outcry.
In addition, China also recently called on the government to push forward cross-strait economic cooperation by further opening the door to its agricultural products after the inking of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement in 2010.
“Ma should also set foot in Kinmen and Matsu to restate the country’s sovereignty,” DPP Legislator Tsai Chih-chang (蔡其昌) said, calling on the Ma administration to value the country’s territories instead of swallowing grievances from China.
“Such cowardice would not be tolerated by the public,” Tsai said.
DPP Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) said Ma’s apparent leaning toward China and his ambiguous attitude after taking office in 2008 were behind China’s increasing pressure on Taiwan.