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Taiwan's military on top of regional developments: MND

2013/11/27 19:22:12

Taipei, Nov. 27 (CNA) The military has been keeping a close eye on the latest regional developments and has a clear picture of the situation in East Asia, Ministry of National Defense spokesman Luo Shuo-he said Wednesday.

But Luo said the military had not detected any unidentified aircraft intruding into Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in recent days.

His remarks came aimd foreign wire service reports that two unarmed U.S. B-52 bombers flew over the disputed Diaoyutai Islands in the East China Sea during a training mission early Tuesday without informing Beijing, defying China's declaration of a new ADIZ in the region.

Luo said he is not in a position to comment on such reports. He said, however, that Taiwan's Air Force has been engaged in normal training operations in the country's ADIZ over the past few days.

He further said the military continues to keep close tabs on activities in the waters and airspace around Taiwan.

"We will deal with unidentified aircraft that invade our ADIZ in accordance with standard operating procedure and relevant regulations to safeguard safety in our airspace," Luo said.

China claimed the right on Nov. 23 to identify, monitor and possibly take military action against aircraft that enter its newly demarcated ADIZ in the East China Sea, which covers the disputed Diaoyutai Islands.

Many countries have described China's move as provocative and destabilizing, with the United States saying that such action "constitutes an attempt to change the status quo in the East China Sea."

Luo said the military will uphold the government's stance and an "East China Sea Peace Initiative" broached by President Ma Ying-jeou to maintain regional peace and stability.

The principles outlined in the initiative include the shelving of territorial disputes, self-restraint by all parties concerned and the peaceful resolution of differences.

The uninhabited Diaoyutai Islands, located some 100 nautical miles northeast of Taiwan, have been under Japan's administrative control since 1972, but are also claimed by Taiwan and China.

Taiwan's National Security Council issued a statement last weekend, reaffirming Taiwan's sovereignty over the island chain and asking all parties concerned to avoid an escalation of tensions in the region.

President Ma said Tuesday that China's ADIZ designation does not involve airspace or territorial sovereignty, but he added that Taiwan will express its serious concerns to China and other parties.

China's ADIZ has a small overlap with Taiwan's own identification zone but will have no impact on the ability of Taiwan's armed forces to conduct exercises, Ma said.

He said Taiwan's serious concerns, to be conveyed to China and other countries, will be based on his East China Sea peace initiative.

(By Hsieh Chia-jen and Sofia Wu)
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