Taipei, May 15 (CNA) Taiwan will not cooperate with China on issues related to South China Sea territorial disputes, Foreign Minister David Lin said Thursday amid anti-China protests in Vietnam that have affected Taiwanese businessmen operating there.
"There is no cooperation between China and us on South China Sea issues," Lin said during a hearing at the Legislature's Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee.
In response to questions on remarks by Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for China's Taiwan Affairs Office, that China has asked Vietnam to protect Taiwanese people in the Southeast Asian country, Lin said that "we don't accept such remarks."
China regards Taiwan as part of its territory.
Taiwan has made it clear to the Vietnamese government that Taiwan does not belong to China, Lin added.
The riots erupted earlier in the week after Vietnamese crowds took to the streets to protest a Chinese oil-drilling venture in an area of the South China Sea also claimed by Hanoi.
So far, more than 100 Taiwanese-invested companies in Vietnam have been affected by the riots and two Taiwanese have been injured, Lin said.
The developments in Vietnam and the Taiwanese government's response measures to the riots were the focus of Thursday's hearing.
Opposition Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Tsai Huang-liang suggested that the government negotiate with Vietnam on allowing Taiwanese businesses to hang Republic of China national flags at their offices to better distinguish them from Chinese companies.
Lin said the ministry will try to work on that angle.
The Foreign Ministry is ordering 20,000 signs for Taiwanese companies to use as a protective measure, the ministry said in a report to the Legislature. The signs say "I'm Taiwanese" and "I come from Taiwan" in the Vietnamese language, designed to help Taiwanese avoid being mistaken for Chinese.
(By Elaine Hou)ENDITEM/J
Related stories:●May 14: Taiwan condemns violence against Taiwan businesses in Vietnam (update)●May 9: Taiwan expresses concern, reiterates claim over South China Sea
(Click here for developments related to the anti-China protest-turned-riot in Vietnam.)