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Diaoyutai Islands belong to Taiwan: KMT presidential candidate

2015/08/14 19:43:00

Taipei, Aug. 14 (CNA) Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱), the candidate of the ruling Kuomintang for the 2016 presidential election, said Friday that the Diaoyutai Islands in the East China Sea belong to Taiwan and that if she is elected next year, she will continue to fight for the rights of the country's fishermen.

Hung, who was visiting Suao in Yilan County to meet with fishermen there, noted that Taiwanese fishermen used to fish in the waters near the Diaoyutais, but later began to be chased away by the Japanese whenever they sailed near the islands.

It was not until April 2013 that the administration of President Ma Ying-jeou signed a fishery agreement with Japan after 16 rounds of negotiation. The agreement offers Taiwanese fishermen an additional 4,530 square kilometers in which to operate.

Hung said that from the perspectives of history, geography, geology and international law, the Diaoyutais belong to Taiwan.

The islands are located about 100 nautical miles north of Keelung City in northern Taiwan and 230 nautical miles from Naha, the capital of Japan's Okinawa Prefecture.

She noted that some have previously said that the islands are Japan's, which she described as "despicable."

She was referring to remarks made by former President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) during a July visit to Japan.

Hung expressed the hope that Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), the presidential candidate of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, will clearly express her stance on the issue.

Lin Yueh-ying (林月英), secretary-general of the Suao Fishermen's Association, noted that one of the fishery meetings was held at the Presidential Office, and she expressed hope that such a meeting can be held again at the Presidential Office to demonstrate the importance with which the government regards the fishery industry.

(By Worthy Shen and Lilian Wu)
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