President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) inspected military units yesterday and was briefed on developments over the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) amid growing tension over the disputed archipelago, the Ministry of National Defense said.
The Taiwanese military has found that Japanese patrol ships and aircraft, as well as Chinese fishing boats, surveillance vessels and missile patrol vessels, are operating near the Diaoyutais, Ma said at a gathering with military police after his inspection visit to an air force radar squadron and a navy radar station.
“We have a full grasp of the situation,” Ma said, adding that the air force, the navy and the Coast Guard Administration are keeping a close eye on the waters around the Diaoyutais and other nearby islets in the region.
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times
Ma’s remarks came amid an escalating territorial dispute over the Diaoyutais after the Japanese government, which already administers the islands, recently decided to nationalize the island group by buying three of them from a private owner.
Meanwhile, the ministry said in a statement that it has beefed up air patrols over the Diaoyutais and waters surrounding the islands.
Reaffirming Taiwan’s sovereignty over the Diaoyutais, Ma reiterated the government’s policy of resolving the disputes on the principles of safeguarding sovereignty, shelving differences, pursuing peace and reciprocity and jointly exploring resources.
The president also repeated his call for all sides involved in the dispute — Taiwan, Japan and China — to adopt the East China Sea peace initiative he proposed early last month and to address the issue through peaceful means.
The Diaoyutais, known as the Senkakus in Japan, lie about 120 nautical miles (220km) northeast of Taiwan.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) is aware that Beijing’s treatment of Hong Kong has weakened any possible sentiment for a “one country, two systems” arrangement for Taiwan, and has instructed Chinese Communist Party (CCP) politburo member Wang Huning (王滬寧) to develop new ways of defining cross-strait relations, Japanese news magazine Nikkei Asia reported on Thursday. A former professor of international politics at Fu Dan University, Wang is expected to develop a dialogue that could serve as the foundation for cross-strait unification, and Xi plans to use the framework to support a fourth term as president, Nikkei Asia quoted an anonymous source
LUCKY DATE: The man picked the 10th ‘Super Red Envelope’ in a lottery store in Taoyuan’s Jhongli because he broke up with his girlfriend on Jan. 10 A man who recently broke up with his girlfriend won a NT$1 million (US$32,929) prize in the “NT$20 million Super Red Envelope” lottery after picking a card based on the date of their breakup, Taiwan Lottery Co said yesterday. The man, in his 20s, bought the 10th ticket at a lottery store in Taoyuan’s Jhongli District (中壢), because he broke up with his girlfriend on Jan. 10, the store owner told the lottery company. The “Super Red Envelope” lottery was a limited offering by the company during the Lunar New Year holiday, which ended yesterday. The cards, which cost NT$2,000 each, came with
A senior US senator on Monday questioned the willingness of some US allies to help defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion. Although Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) expects the US and Japan to respond in a war in the Taiwan Strait, he was “a little less confident what our other allies would do,” US Senator John Cornyn said. Australia and New Zealand have voiced support for Taiwan, but it “is a far cry from committing troops to repel an invasion,” Cornyn said during a discussion on China, Russia and the state of US military readiness at a forum hosted
TOURISM BOOST: The transportation system could help attract more visitors to the area, as the line is to connect multiple cultural sites, a city councilor said Residents in New Taipei City’s Ankeng District (安坑) said the local light rail system might have a positive influence, but raised questions about its practicality. The Ankeng light rail system, which is to commence operations after the Lunar New Year holiday, would cut travel time for commuters from Ankeng to downtown Taipei or New Taipei City by 15 to 20 minutes, the city government said. According to the initial plan, there would be one train every 15 minutes during peak time and additional interval trains would run between the densely populated Ankang Station (安康) and Shisizhang Station (十 四張). To encourage people to