An ini­tia­tive to pre­serve peace

Los Angeles Times - - SUNDAY OPINION -

Re “China again pressed on is­lands,” May 31

De­fense Sec­re­tary Ashton Carter is right to worry about the po­ten­tial of the “mil­i­ta­riza­tion” of the South China Sea. As a sovereignty claimant in this re­gion, Tai­wan wel­comes U.S. ef­forts to seek peace­ful res­o­lu­tion to ter­ri­to­rial dis­putes that in­volve China.

But at­tempt­ing to solve the sovereignty is­sue would be a long and ar­du­ous process. There­fore, be­fore a ma­jor con­flict breaks out, a more prag­matic and for­ward-look­ing course of ac­tion will need to be taken.

Draw­ing on past suc­cess­ful res­o­lu­tions of ter­ri­to­rial dis­putes, on May 26 Pres­i­dent Ma Ying-jeou pro­posed the South China Sea Peace Ini­tia­tive, which em­pha­sizes the idea that while sovereignty can­not be di­vided, nat­u­ral re­sources can be shared. The ini­tia­tive calls on all par­ties to shelve dis­putes, to re­frain froma dopt­ing uni­lat­eral mea­sures and to pro­mote joint ex­plo­ration and re­source de­vel­op­ment.

On that same day, a U.S. State De­part­ment spokesman­said that the United States “ap­pre­ci­ated” Ma’s pro­posal. Cer­tainly, it is our sin­cere hope that the United States will fully sup­port the ini­tia­tive as a way to pre­serve re­gional peace and sta­bil­ity. Steve C.C. Hsia

Los An­ge­les The writer is di­rec­tor­gen­eral of the Taipei Eco­nomic and Cul­tural Of­fice in Los An­ge­les.

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