Washington, Oct. 10 (CNA) The Republic of China (Taiwan) placed advertisements in four major American newspapers for the first time Wednesday to bolster its sovereignty claim to the disputed Diaoyutai Islands and present a peace initiative to resolve the issue.
The ads on the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times outlined the East China Sea Peace Initiative broached by President Ma Ying-jeou on Aug. 5.
Located some 100 nautical miles northeast of Taiwan, the Diaoyutai Islands, known as Senkakus in Japan, have been under Japan's control since 1972 but are also claimed by Taiwan and China.
The ads called for American support for Taiwan's East China Sea Peace Initiative, which proposes formulating East China Sea code of conduct and joint conservation and management of the area's living resources.
The initiative further urged the three claimants to work together on joint exploration and exploitation of the area's non-living resources, joint marine scientific research and protection of the marine environment as well as joint exercises to maintain conventional and unconventional security in the East China Sea.
Over the long run, the ads said, Taiwan hopes the three parties can move from three parallel tracks of bilateral dialogue -- between Taiwan and Japan, Taiwan and the Chinese mainland, and Japan and the mainland -- to one track of trilateral negotiations.
The ads laid out 10 key points from historical and legal perspectives to back the ROC's claim to the Diaoyutais.
First, the ads said, the Diaoyutai Islands were first discovered, named, and used by Ming China (1368–1644);
Second, the Diaoyutais, along with Taiwan, became the territory of Qing China (1644-1912);
Third, the Diaoyutais were secretly annexed by Meiji Japan on Jan.14, 1895, during the Sino-Japanese War (August 1894~April 1895);
Fourth, China ceded "Taiwan and its appertaining islands" to Japan in 1895;
Fifth, post-World War II arrangements restored the islands to their pre-1895 legal status;
Sixth, the Diaoyutais, when secretly annexed by Japan in 1895, were placed under Okinawa and later renamed;
Seventh, the Republic of China (Taiwan) never recognized Japanese sovereignty over the islands after WWII;
Eighth, from 1945-1971, the Diaoyutai Islands were under the administration of the United States, not Japan;
Ninth, the U.S. did not transfer the islands' sovereignty to Japan in 1972;
Tenth, Japan's sovereignty claim over the Diaoyutai Islands is invalid
ab initio (from the onset) under international law.
(By Tony Liao and Sofia Wu)