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Taiwan protests Vietnam's claim to South China Sea islands

ROC Central News Agency

2012/06/22 20:46:45

Taipei, June 22 (CNA) Taiwan voiced strong concern and protest Friday against Vietnam's inclusion of two island groups in the South China Sea into its territory.

"Whether looked at from the perspective of history, geography or international law, the Tungsha Islands (Pratas Islands), the Nansha Islands (Spratly Islands), the Chungsha Islands (Macclesfield Islands) and the Shisha Islands (Paracel Islands), as well as their surrounding waters, are inherent parts of the territory of the Republic of China (Taiwan)," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

"There is no doubt that sovereignty (over those island groups) belongs to the Republic of China," the statement read.

The ministry's statement came after Vietnam's congress recently passed a maritime law that claims sovereignty and jurisdiction over the Paracel and Spratly islands.

Taiwan does not recognize any claims to such territories made by any other country, the ministry said.

Taiwan advocates developing the resources of the area in conjunction with other countries based on the principles of shelving disputes and promoting peace and reciprocity, it added.

The Spratlys are a group of more than 750 reefs, islets and atolls, while the Paracel Islands consist of over 30 islets, sandbanks and reefs in the South China Sea.

Reportedly rich in crude oil and other natural resources, the islands and their surrounding waters are claimed either entirely or in part by Taiwan, China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei.

(By Emmanuelle Tzeng and Alex Jiang)

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