The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday accused President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration of being “soft” in defense of the nation’s sovereignty over the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台).
Known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan, the uninhabited islands in the East China Sea are claimed by Taiwan, China and Japan.
The territorial dispute has re-emerged amid reported plans by authorities in Ishigaki, in Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture, to change the administrative designation of the islands from Tonoshiro to “Tonoshiro Senkaku.”
KMT Culture and Communications Committee chairwoman Alicia Wang (王育敏) said that the Tsai administration’s efforts to defend the nation’s sovereignty over the islands and the rights of Taiwanese fishers compared poorly with those of former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration.
While the Ma administration proposed the East China Sea peace initiative to maintain regional peace, Tsai’s government has “proposed nothing,” she said.
Ma’s administration said that the nation would not give up “one inch” of sovereignty over the islands, Tsai’s response has been “very quiet,” Wang said.
Tsai on Wednesday last week said that it has been the government’s “consistent stance” that the Diaoyutais are the nation’s territory, adding that her government supports setting aside disputes to make way for joint development of resources in the region, and a peaceful solution among the parties involved to maintain regional peace and stability.
Wang said that while Ma visited Pengjia Islet (彭佳嶼) to reassert Taiwan’s sovereignty over the Diaoyutai Islands, Tsai “does not dare” accept an invitation from Yilan County Commissioner Lin Tzu-miao (林姿妙) to visit the islands.
Lin, a KMT member, on Monday last week proposed a visit by Tsai, while KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) on Thursday on Facebook invited Tsai to join him and Yilan County fishers on a trip to the Diaoyutais.
Under Republic of China law, Yilan’s Toucheng Township (頭城) has authority over the islands.
The DPP government should not allow the nation’s sovereignty over the Diaoyutais to be violated, the KMT said.
The party called on Tsai to lodge a protest with Japan’s representative in Taiwan, and warn that a name change would have a severe impact on bilateral exchanges and friendly relations.
Representative to Japan Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) should convey the nation’s position to Tokyo, the KMT said.
The DPP government should send Coast Guard Administration vessels to the waters around the Diaoyutais to defend the nation’s sovereignty and fishing rights, as Ma did, the KMT added.
It also called for the resumption of a Taiwan-Japan fisheries commission to protect the rights of Taiwanese fishers.
The Ishigaki City Council is expected to vote on the issue on Monday next week, media reports said.
Additional reporting by CNA
It took director Chong Keat Aun (張吉安) nearly a decade to complete Snow in Midsummer (五月雪), a deft chronicle of Malaysia’s May 13 incident told through one woman’s search for her brother and father. Although only his second feature, it led the field at yesterday’s Golden Horse Awards with nine nominations. Chong said it had been a struggle to get people to share their memories of the intercommunal violence following the 1969 national election, known among the country’s ethnic Chinese community as “513.” “My father, for example, would shut the conversation down if my mother or grandma even mentioned the topic,” Chong said
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday said that a surge in respiratory illnesses in China has been caused by at least seven types of pathogens, and small children, elderly people and immunocompromised people should temporarily avoid unnecessary visits to China. The recent outbreak of respiratory illnesses in China is mainly in the north and among children, CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said on Monday. Data released by the Chinese National Health Commission on Sunday showed that among children aged one to four, the main pathogens were influenza viruses and rhinoviruses, while among children aged five to 14, the main pathogens
A new poll of Taiwanese voters found the top opposition candidate for president jumping past the ruling party’s hopeful into the lead position ahead of January’s election — the latest twist in a drama-filled race. Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) had an approval rating of 31.9 percent versus 29.2 percent for the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) presidential candidate Vice President William Lai (賴清德), the poll released yesterday by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation showed. The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), ranked third with 23.6 percent, according to the survey conducted
A New Taipei City hotpot restaurant could be fined after a rat dropped from the ceiling and landed on a customer’s plate last week, the New Taipei City Department of Health said yesterday after conducting an inspection. A woman recently posted on the “I am a Banciao resident” (我是板橋人) social media group saying that she had been eating with a friend at Chien Tu Shabu Shabu Hotpot Restaurant’s Shuangshi B branch in Banciao District (板橋). “While still eating, a big rat suddenly dropped down from the ceiling, landing on a plate next to a hotpot,” she said. “Later on, a member of