Taipei, Sept. 14 (CNA) Taiwan urged China and Japan Friday to refrain from actions that would further fuel tensions in the East China Sea after both sent ships to waters near the Diaoyutai Islands to defend their claims of sovereignty over the island chain.
Reaffirming Taiwan's sovereignty over the Diaoyutais, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that all parties involved should exercise restraint to maintain stability and peace in the region.
The ministry's remarks came following reports that China had dispatched surveillance ships to waters near the Diaoyutais in response to Japan's recent move to nationalize the island group by buying three of them from a private owner.
Japan also had patrol ships operating near the Diaoyutais, according to some reports.
The ministry once again urged all parties to resolve the territorial dispute through peaceful means and agree to jointly explore resources in the East China Sea region.
It also called on all parties to act in line with the spirit of the East China Sea Peace Initiative proposed by President Ma Ying-jeou in early August amid escalating tensions.
Ma proposed that parties involved in the territorial dispute refrain from hostile action, put aside differences, not abandon dialogue, observe international law and resolve the dispute through peaceful means.
The plan also urged all sides to seek consensus on a code of conduct for the East China Sea and establish a mechanism for cooperation on exploring and developing resources in the region.
The Diaoyutai Islands, known as the Senkakus in Japan and the Diaoyu Islands in China, lie about 100 nautical miles northeast of Taiwan. The island group is under Japan's administrative control but is also claimed by Taiwan and China.
On Friday, the ministry also urged Japan to show sincerity if it were to resume fishery talks over fishing rights in waters near the Diaoyutai Islands with Taiwan, one day after Japan's Interchange Association issued a call for reopening the talks that have unsuccessfully been held for 16 rounds.
(By Elaine Hou)