Taiwan seeks to participate in South China Sea peace dialogue

05/19/2015 10:34 PM

Taipei, May 19 (CNA) Taiwan looks forward to participating in dialogue and mechanisms related to South China Sea issues and working with other countries in the area to settle disputes through peaceful means to maintain regional peace and stability and promote regional development, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Tuesday.

The ministry was responding to a media report that a scholar from the Brookings Institution, a Washington-based think tank, said Taiwan's participation in negotiations aimed at resolving territorial disputes in the South China Sea will be beneficial for the parties concerned.

The Republic of China has unquestionable sovereignty over the Dongsha, Nansha, Xisha and Zhongsha islands in the South China Sea and their surrounding waters, from the perspective of history, geography and international law, said MOFA spokeswoman Anna Kao (高安).

The government is willing to cooperate with neighboring countries in exploring resources in the region, in line with the principles of "safeguarding sovereignty, shelving disputes, pursuing peace and reciprocity, and promoting joint exploration and development," according to Kao.

Also Tuesday, Singapore's Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen (黃永宏) called on Association of Southeast Asian Nations countries and China to enact a South China Sea code of conduct to promote regional peace.

Although Singapore does not claim sovereignty over any of the disputed islands in the South China Sea, does not get involved in the disputes and will not take sides with any of the parties concerned, as a country in the region, it watches closely any conflicts in the region, Ng said at the opening of the International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference (IMDEX Asia).

He also called for joint efforts on the part of countries around the South China Sea to strengthen the fight against piracy in the region.

(By Hsieh Chia-chen, Huang Tzi-chiang and Evelyn Kao) ENDITEM/J

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