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Taiwan wants to join code of conduct discussion over South China Sea

2012/07/31 22:19:34

Taipei, July 31 (CNA) Taiwan should be included in the discussion of the code of the conduct for the South China Sea, an official said Tuesday.

The disputes in the region should be resolved under multilateral frameworks, said James Chou, deputy director-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

If Taiwan is not able to take part in the discussions, any results achieved will be incomplete and "regrettable," Chou said.

The ministry has closely monitored the details of the regional forum organized by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) earlier this month.

During the forum, ASEAN has decided to set the code of the conduct to resolve the dispute peacefully.

The South China Sea region, thought to be rich in oil deposits and marine biodiversity, is claimed either entirely or in part by Brunei, China, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Although Taiwan sometimes cannot be included in international mechanisms due to pressure from China, the ministry said it has ensured Taiwan's voice was heard by the international community through different channels.

Taiwan stands firm on its sovereignty on the islands in the region and adheres to the principles of safeguarding its sovereignty, shelving disputes, rationality and peace, and joint exploration, Chou said.

The South China Sea Islands include the Spratly Islands, Pratas Islands, and Paracel Islands.

(By Emmanuelle Tzeng and Maia Huang)