ROC won’t give up S. China Sea ter­ri­tory: Ma

The China Post - - FRONT PAGE -

Pres­i­dent Ma Ying-jeou said Wed­nes­day that his ad­min­is­tra­tion will not give up the Repub­lic of China’s ter­ri­tory in the South China Sea, but will con­tinue to seek peace­ful means to ad­dress the ter­ri­to­rial dis­putes in the re­gion.

Although some have ad­vo­cated that Tai­wan should aban­don the dis­puted ter­ri­to­ries in the South China Sea, Ma said, they are part of the R.O.C. and can­not be given up eas­ily.

The is­lands in the South China Sea “are very im­por­tant,” he said in re­sponse to ques­tions at a press con­fer­ence with for­eign cor­re­spon­dents based in Tai­wan.

The re­gion is rich in nat­u­ral re­sources and is an im­por­tant nav­i­ga­tion chan­nel for the R.O.C., Ma said.

“We should try to re­solve the dis­putes through peace­ful means, rather than give up the ter­ri­tory to deal with the prob­lem,” Ma said. Even if Tai­wan aban­dons its claims, the ter­ri­to­rial dis­putes would still re­main among the var­i­ous claimants, he added.

The pres­i­dent re­it­er­ated his stance that all par­ties con­cerned should en­gage in ne­go­ti­a­tions in an ef­fort to al­le­vi­ate ten­sions and find res­o­lu­tions.

“Our ba­sic stance is that sovereignty can­not be com­pro­mised, but nat­u­ral re­sources can be shared,” he said.

Based on those prin­ci­ples, Tai­wan was able to ad­dress fish­ing dis­putes with Ja­pan and the Philip­pines, he said, adding that the same model can also be ap­plied to deal with the dis­putes in the South China Sea.

The R.O.C. gov­ern­ment claims that the Spratly, Para­cel and Pratas is­lands and the Macclesfield Bank, and their sur­round­ing wa­ters, are an in­her­ent part of the coun­try.

China’s Land­fill in South China Sea

Asked whether the R.O.C. gov­ern­ment is wor­ried about China’s land­fills in the South China Sea, Ma said in­ter­na­tional law does not for­bid such ac­tions. China is not the only one tak­ing such ac­tions, he said, adding that Viet­nam is also do­ing the same.

Ac­tions that will trig­ger ten­sions in the re­gion are not wel­come, Ma said, urg­ing joint ef­forts by all par­ties to ex­plore re­sources.

On the ques­tion of whether Tai­wan should deploy mil­i­tary per­son­nel on Taip­ing Is­land (Itu Aba) amid the sim­mer­ing ten­sions in the South China Sea, Ma said that Tai­wan will con­tinue to post coast guard per­son­nel there to de­fend its claim to the is­land.

“I don’t think the use of force would be the best so­lu­tion,” he said.

Tai­wan cur­rently oc­cu­pies Taip­ing, the largest is­land in the Spratlys, as well as Dong­sha in the Pratas Is­lands.

On the is­sue of cross-Tai­wan Strait ties, Ma said the estab­lish­ment of re­cip­ro­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tive of­fices is among the top pri­or­i­ties in the devel­op­ment of links be­tween Tai­wan and China.

Re­gional Eco­nomic In­te­gra­tion

In his open­ing re­marks, he also men­tioned Tai­wan’s ef­forts to par­tic­i­pate in re­gional eco­nomic in­te­gra­tion.

Tai­wan has ex­pressed its wish to join the pro­posed Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship (TPP) and the Re­gional Com­pre­hen­sive Eco­nomic Part­ner­ship (RCEP) trade blocs, Ma said.

“The year 2015 is im­por­tant be­cause the sec­ond round of TPP ne­go­ti­a­tions will be held, and the RCEP plans to open membership to non-ASEAN na­tions,” Ma said. “So this year, it is crit­i­cal for the R.O.C. to go all out to par­tic­i­pate in re­gional eco­nomic in­te­gra­tion.”

To gar­ner more sup­port from the TPP and RCEP ne­go­ti­at­ing coun­tries, Tai­wan will con­tinue its mar­ket lib­er­al­iza­tion and dereg­u­la­tion ef­forts to es­tab­lish a legal en­vi­ron­ment that re­flects in­ter­na­tional stan­dards, the pres­i­dent said.


2. Two wa­ter tanks stand ready yes­ter­day in Linkou Dis­trict, New Taipei. Of­fi­cials in New Taipei have put 20 such wa­ter sta­tions into ser­vice in Linkou alone. Each tank can pro­vide up to two tons of wa­ter. The lo­cal fire depart­ment has also equipped wa­ter trucks ca­pa­ble of car­ry­ing 12 tons of wa­ter to sup­ply res­i­dents of the area. 3. A man stocks shelves at a su­per­mar­ket in Taoyuan City, yes­ter­day. Phase-three wa­ter ra­tioning be­gan in some re­gions of the na­tion, as the most se­ri­ous drought in decades con­tin­ues to hit the is­land.

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