Ma ac­claims suc­cess in ‘vi­able diplo­macy’ at For­eign Min­istry

Pres­i­dent does not rule out the pos­si­bil­ity of vis­it­ing Taip­ing Is­land China ‘likely’ to de­ploy J-11 fight­ers in South China Sea

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY JOSEPH YEH

The “vi­able diplo­macy” ap­proach has en­abled Tai­wan to ex­pand its in­ter­na­tional space while con­tribut­ing to the de­vel­op­ment of re­gional peace and pros­per­ity, Pres­i­dent Ma Ying-jeou said yesterday as he in­spected the For­eign Min­istry to give pep talks to diplo­mats.

Un­like the pre­vi­ous Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Party (DPP) ad­min­is­tra­tion that adopted the so-called check­book diplo­macy, Ma said yesterday dur­ing his ad­dress at the min­istry that he has es­tab­lished vi­able diplo­macy as a way of pro­mot­ing cross-strait peace and friendly ties with the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity since he took of­fice in May 2008.

With more than seven years of ded­i­ca­tion and ef­fort, the re­sults speak for them­selves, he noted. Dur­ing the DPP ad­min­is­tra­tion be­tween 2000 to 2008, Taipei lost nine al­lies to Bei­jing. Since he as­sumed of­fice, Tai­wan has only lost one.

Also, Ma added that 142 coun­tries and ter­ri­to­ries — up from 54 seven years ago — have en­tered into visa-waiver agree­ments with Tai­wan.

Ma thanked the ef­forts and con­tri­bu­tions to the For­eign Min­istry and all R.O.C. diplo­mats in help­ing Tai­wan achieve these suc­cesses over the past seven years. He called on Tai­wanese diplo­mats to con­tinue their good work and help the name of the R.O.C. to be well­re­spected around the globe.

Ma fur­ther noted that he pro­posed his South China Sea Peace Ini­tia­tive last month af­ter the suc­cess of his East China Sea Peace Ini­tia­tive pro­posed in Au­gust 2012 that has at­tained peace­ful res­o­lu­tions to decades-long fish­eries and ter­ri­to­rial dis­putes with Ja­pan.

Sim­i­lar in spirit to the East China Sea Peace Ini­tia­tive, the new ini­tia­tive calls on all par­ties con­cerned to ex­er­cise re­straint, safe­guard peace and sta­bil­ity in the South China Sea, and re­frain from tak­ing any uni­lat­eral ac­tion that

The ten­sion caused by ter­ri­to­rial dis­putes in the South China Sea seems un­likely to ease in the near fu­ture, given the al­most­com­ple­tion of Chi­nese run­ways on re­claimed land and Bei­jing’s pos­si­ble de­ploy­ment of J-11 fighter jets there, ac­cord­ing to a Hong Kong news­pa­per re­port.

If China goes ahead, the de­ploy­ment in the Spratly Is­lands, called the Nan­sha Is­lands in China, “would dra­mat­i­cally ex­tend the reach of the na­tion’s mil­i­tary be­yond its south­ern­most base at Sanya on Hainan Is­land,” said the June 21 re­port pub­lished in the English lan­guage South China Morn­ing Post, cit­ing un­named an­a­lysts.

How­ever, the re­port said the jets, built based on the Sovi­et­de­signed Su-27, would be lim­ited to a de­fen­sive role be­cause it is an older model out­classed by air­craft in the U.S. Air Force.

The re­port said the J-11s have a range of 1,500 kilo­me­ters, which can be ex­tended with ad­di­tional fuel tanks. “Set­ting up oper­a­tions on the is­lands would might es­ca­late ten­sions, he noted.

Asked by re­porters to com­ment on what Tai­wan can do fur­ther to re­solve dis­putes in the South China Sea other than the peace ini­tia­tive pro­posal, Ma yesterday ad­mit­ted that the sovereignty dis­putes in the South China Sea are much more com­pli­cated than the East China Sea.

He noted that the sovereignty is­sue can hardly be re­solved with China’s out­right op­po­si­tion to any form of third-party ar­bi­tra­tion.

Ma said the R.O.C. will soon pro­pose a more con­crete roadmap on how all claimants can share re­sources in the re­gion, thereby re­plac­ing sovereignty dis­putes.

Won’t Rule Out Visit Taip­ing: Ma

Mean­while, Ma yesterday said he cur­rently has no plan to visit Taip­ing Is­land, a Tai­wan- con- move the reach of China’s air force about 1,000 km fur­ther south, and in con­junc­tion with the Liaon­ing air­craft car­rier, take China to­wards its stated goal of mov­ing away from off­shore de­fense to open-sea pro­tec­tion,” it said.

How­ever, David Tsui, a mil­i­tary ex­pert at Sun Yat-sen Univer­sity in Guangzhou, said the J-11s are only enough to de­fend the seven is­lands claimed by China in the re­gion but are not so­phis­ti­cated enough to be used in an at­tack, the re­port said.

China’s key ri­val will be the United States, and Bei­jing knows that if its mil­i­tary uses co­er­cive mea­sures or force to re­solve ter­ri­to­rial dis­putes in the South China Sea, the U.S. will def­i­nitely in­ter­fere, Tsui was cited as say­ing.

“China’s first car­rier- based jet, the J-15, might be ad­vanced enough to chal­lenge the US F-18, but the Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army Air Force’s main fighter jets, the J-11 and its vari­ants, can­not com­pete with the F-22 and F-35 cur­rently de­ployed by the U.S.,” Tsui said. trolled is­land in the South China Sea, in the near fu­ture, when asked to com­ment on the is­sue.

But he would not rule out the pos­si­bil­ity of vis­it­ing since it is only nat­u­ral to visit R.O.C. ter­ri­tory, he noted.

It was pre­vi­ously re­ported that Ma could visit Taip­ing to pre­side over the open­ing cer­e­mony of a wharf fa­cil­i­ties ex­pan­sion pro­ject on the is­land this Au­gust or Septem­ber.

For­mer Pres­i­dent Chen Shuib­ian was the first R.O.C. leader to set foot on Taip­ing Is­land when he vis­ited there on Feb. 2, 2008 for the in­au­gu­ra­tion of a new airstrip.

Ac­cord­ing to the For­eign Min­istry, this was the pres­i­dent’s sec­ond in­spec­tion tour of the min­istry since he as­sumed of­fice in May 2008. He last vis­ited the min­istry in Au­gust 2008.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Taiwan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.