Taiwan expresses concern, reiterates claim over South China Sea

05/09/2014 10:35 PM
(Graphic from http://maritimeinfo.moi.gov.tw/marineweb/Default1E.aspx)
(Graphic from http://maritimeinfo.moi.gov.tw/marineweb/Default1E.aspx)

Taipei, May 9 (CNA) Taiwan Friday reiterated its claim over the disputed Paracel (Xisha/Sisha) Islands in the South China Sea while expressing concern over escalating tensions between Vietnam and China over a large Chinese oil rig in the area.

Tensions in the broad swath of sea have escalated to the point that as many as dozens of Chinese and Vietnamese ships have come into confrontation, sparking worries that a larger conflict could be brewing.

As the two claimants continued to rebuke each other over the incidents, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs rejected any claim of sovereignty over or occupation of the islands, which it said rightfully belong to the Republic of China government in Taipei.

The ministry reiterated its claims that "from the perspective of history, geography and international law," the ROC's inherent territory extends to the Spratly (Nansha) Islands, Paracels, Macclesfield Bank (Zhongsha/Jhongsha Islands), and Pratas (Dongsha) Islands as well as their surrounding waters and respective seabed and subsoil.

"There is no doubt that the Republic of China has sovereignty over the archipelagos and waters," the statement said.

It went on to restate the basic principles proposed as part of President Ma Ying-jeou's East China Sea Peace Initiative: safeguarding sovereignty while working to shelve disputes, promoting peace and reciprocity among claimants, and jointly exploring the region's resources.

As for the ongoing clashes, the ministry urged self-restraint and a peaceful resolution to be reached through consultation and dialogue.

It also called on countries bordering the disputed region to respect the principles and spirit of international laws and refrain from adopting unilateral measures that might upset the peace and stability of the region.

(By Tang Pei-chun and Evelyn Kao)


    We value your privacy.
    Focus Taiwan (CNA) uses tracking technologies to provide better reading experiences, but it also respects readers' privacy. Click here to find out more about Focus Taiwan's privacy policy. When you close this window, it means you agree with this policy.