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Taiwan maintains sovereignty over Paracel Islands: official

ROC Central News Agency

2012/04/05 23:10:46

Taipei, April 5 (CNA) The Shisha Islands, or Paracel Islands, are part of the territory of the Republic of China, and that will not change even if Chinese tourism activities are held on the islands, Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) spokesman Liu Te-shun said Thursday.

Under the ROC Constitution, Taiwan has sovereign jurisdiction over the Paracel Islands, Liu said at a regular press conference in response to rumors that China is planning tourism activities on the islands.

Taiwan, China and Vietnam all claim sovereignty over the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea.

A Chinese media report quoted Deng Xiaogang, former deputy director of Hainan Tourism Development Committee, as saying China's authoritieshope to allow tourism on the Paracel Islands and on Hainan's unmanned islets.

Chinese military experts said the move will help China strengthen its claim over the territory, according to the report.

But China's National Tourism Administration refuted the report, saying Deng had stepped down from the tourism post six months ago.

Deng also denied the reports, saying he has never spoken to the media about the issue.

Meanwhile, the MAC reiterated Taiwan’s sovereignty over the South China Sea island, saying Thursday that it maintains the principles of "shelving disputes and joint development" with regard to the islands.

(By Chen Hong-chin and Ann Chen)

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