Taipei, July 29 (CNA) The chairwoman and presidential candidate of Taiwan's opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) reaffirmed Wednesday that the Diaoyutai Islands in the East China Sea are Taiwan's territory.
"The Diaoyutai belong to Taiwan," Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said in response to reporters' questions over the controversial remarks made by former President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) during his visit to Japan last week stating that the disputed archipelago belongs to Japan.
The remarks rocked Taiwan's political scene, with some lawmakers of the ruling Kuomintang denouncing Lee for treason since it is clearly stated in the Republic of China's Constitution that the Diaoyutais and the islands in the East China Sea are inherent parts of the territory of the ROC.
The latest statement by Lee on the disputed East China Sea islands also contradicted his declared position on the issue when he was president of the ROC in Taiwan from 1988-2000.
Asked whether Lee's controversial remarks will affect any plans she might have to visit Japan, Tsai replied that she has no need to visit Japan at present.
There have been discussions within the DPP about her visiting foreign countries, but no conclusions have yet been made, Tsai said.
The Diaoyutai Islands have been controlled by Japan since 1972 and were named the Senkaku Islands by the Japanese. They are also claimed by China, which refers to them as the Diaoyu Islands.
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) in his East China Sea peace initiative put forth in August 2012 while reaffirming the ROC's sovereignty over the islands, proposed shelving differences, seeking peace and reciprocity, and jointly exploring resources, as a way of dealing with territorial disputes in the East China Sea.
(By Lu Hsin-hui and Elizabeth Hsu)ENDITEM/ke