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Pengjia Islet gets rare attention from Ma's visit

ROC Central News Agency

2012/09/07 22:37:45

Taipei, Sept. 7 (CNA) Pengjia Islet drew rare attention Friday when President Ma Ying-jeou used it as a stage to reassert Taiwan's sovereignty over the nearby Tiaoyutai Islands and promote a peace initiative in the East China Sea.

The normally obscure outcrop, which falls administratively under Keelung City, is one of three islets off of Taiwan's northern coast -- the others are Mianhua Islet and Huaping Islet -- considered to be of strategic importance to the country.

Coast Guard personnel are posted on the islet, and it is also used as a communications and meteorology base.

Chunghwa Telecom Co., Taiwan's biggest telecom operator, invested NT$5 million (US$168,500) to build a base station on the island in 2001 to make mobile communications available.

It is one of many base stations the Chunghwa Telecom has placed on remote islets, including the Pratas Islands in the South China Sea.

Pengjia Islet also has had a weather station since 1909 and a facility for aviation monitoring since 1935, both of which were built by Japan during the colonial period.

Located about 56 kilometers off Taiwan's northern coast and 140 kilometers west of the Tiaoyutai Islands, Pengjia Islet is surrounded by one of the world's four largest fishing areas.

The island is not open to visitors.

(By Lin Shen-shu, Esme Chiang, Hao Hsueh-chin and Lee Hsin-Yin)

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