Taiwan in contact with U.S., Japan over China's ADIZ claim

11/25/2013 12:55 PM
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Taipei, Nov. 25 (CNA) Taiwan's government has been in contact with the United States and Japan over China's demarcation of an air defense identification zone in an area that includes the disputed Diaoyutai Islands in the East China Sea, Foreign Minister David Lin said Monday.

"We have expressed our hopes that all parties concerned will resolve disputes through peaceful dialogue to maintain regional peace and stability," Lin said on the sidelines of a hearing of the Legislative Yuan's Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee.

He declined to go into detail, however, when asked about the contents of talks with the U.S. and Japan over China's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) demarcation.

Lin instead said the communications were mainly aimed at expressing Taiwan's hope that territorial disputes would be settled via peaceful dialogue.

"This is the most important principle that should prevail," Lin said.

China declared the demarcation of the East China Sea air defense zone Saturday, claiming the right to identify, monitor and possibly take military action against aircraft that enter the zone.

The move immediately drew strong concern from Taiwan, the United States and Japan.

Asked if the government would publicly deny China's right to demarcate an ADIZ over the Diaoyutai Islands, which lie about 100 nautical miles northeast of Taiwan, Lin said relevant government agencies are evaluating the situation.

The Diaoyutais have been under the administrative control of Japan, which calls them the Senkaku Islands, since 1972, but the uninhabited islets are also claimed by Taiwan and China.

Lin said that Taiwan will never waver on its sovereignty claim to the Diaoyutai Islands and will continue to protect local fishermen's rights to operate in the region.

"Our stances on Diaoyutai sovereignty and fishing rights will not change simply because of mainland China's declaration of an ADIZ over the region," Lin said.

He also reiterated the government's commitment to uphold an "East China Sea Peace Initiative" broached by President Ma Ying-jeou that calls for all parties concerned to shelve disputes and work together to explore resources in the Diaoyutai areas.

(By Angela Tsai and Sofia Wu)enditem/WH

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