The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday accused an academic affiliated with a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) think tank of making false accusations over DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) policy proposal on the South China Sea.
In a letter to the editor published in the Chinese-language China Times yesterday, Edward Chen (陳一新), a professor at Tamkang University’s Graduate Institute of the Americas, said he is worried Tsai might give up the Republic of China’s claims of sovereignty in the South China Sea, breaking the cross-strait “status quo.”
Chen said in the letter that he is worried because Tsai said that she would handle the South China Sea issue according to international law and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Chen said Tsai’s “proactive peace diplomacy” policy proposal is similar to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “proactive pacifism,” adding that Tsai might look to the US for her foreign policy, causing concern that Tsai may break the cross-strait “status quo” on the South China Sea.
DPP spokesperson Juan Chao-hsiung (阮昭雄) yesterday slammed Chen over the article, saying it contained false accusations.
“It’s a rather irresponsible act for Chen, an academic and a professor, to make baseless and biased remarks affiliated with certain political ideology,” Juan told a press conference. “Chen is yet to apologize for his false remarks last time and is already making new ones.”
“He is obviously ignoring academic ethics and intentionally trying to misguide public opinion; such an act would only make people cast doubt on his academic and professional judgements,” Juan added.
Juan said the DPP has explained its stance on the South China Sea clearly, that is, the DPP will not give up Taiwan’s sovereignty claim, but would handle the controversial parts according to international law, namely the UNCLOS, so that the controversies may be solved peacefully under an international mechanism.
“This is an important basis on which the surrounding countries may reach a consensus,” Juan said. “Tsai also insists that [anyone’s] right to sail freely on the high seas should be protected; this is the DPP’s stance on the issue.”
Juan urged Chen to show more self-respect and refrain from becoming a propaganda agent for the KMT.
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