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Taiwan will not recognize deals involving Tiaoyutais: president

ROC Central News Agency

2012/09/07 19:00:42

Taipei, Sept. 7 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou said Friday that Taiwan will not recognize any deal involving ownership of the Tiaoyutai Islands amid reports Japan's government plans to purchase three of them from private owners.

Responding to a question from a Japanese reporter during a visit to Pengjia Islet, Ma said Japan's occupation of the Tiaoyutais in 1895 violated international law, meaning Taiwan would not recognize the purchase of the islands.

He hoped Japan would acknowledge that a dispute exists and work with all parties to resolve it before the situation worsened.

"Taiwan has been very friendly to Japan and Japan has good relations with Taiwan. (I) really don't hope the close ties between the two sides affected by the issue," Ma said.

He also suggested that Tokyo handle the dispute through legal channels, as it recently did in a territorial dispute with South Korea.

Ma was on Pengjia Islet, the part of Taiwan closest to the disputed Tiaoyutais, to reassert Taiwan's sovereignty over the uninhabited island chain and promote his East China Sea Peace Initiative.

Pengjia Islet is located about 56 kilometers northeast of Keelung and about 140 kilometers west of the Tiaoyutais, which are currently controlled by Japan and also claimed by China.

In his East China Peace Initiative, Ma has proposed that all parties to shelve the territorial dispute and engage in peaceful dialogue to jointly explore and develop resources in the region.

He also highlighted the importance of all parties recognizing and putting aside the dispute, and said the government will defend the country's rights if the peace effort fails.

When asked by reporters, Ma said he had no plan to visit the Tiaoyutais.

(By Kelven Huang and Kay Liu)
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