MOFA asks for participation in code of conduct for South China Sea
ROC Central News Agency
Taipei, Sept. 11 (CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs asked claimants to the disputed South China Sea Tuesday to invite Taiwan to join in discussions on formulating a code of conduct for the region.
The ministry said the Republic of China's stance in based on the principles of sovereignty over the South China Sea, putting differences aside, maintaining peace and reciprocity, and joint development of resources to deal with South China Sea disputes.
It is willing to take part in related dialogue and the formulation of a code of conduct for the region, the ministry said in a news release.
It urged neighboring countries to avoid taking unilateral actions that could undermine peace and stability in the South China Sea, in line with the spirit and principle of international law.
The ministry urged the other countries with competing claims to the region to exercise self-restraint and replace confrontation with dialogue.
It also stressed that all the ROC government's activities on Taiping Island are legal and that other countries have no right to say anything about them.
The remarks came after Vietnam lodged a protest over a recent visit by a Taiwanese group led by National Security Council Secretary General Hu Wei-chen to Taiping, where he hoisted an ROC flag and where a live-fire drill was staged.
Taiping is the largest island in the region's Nansha, or Spratly Islands.
The ministry said that whether looked at from the perspective of history, geography or international law, the Tungsha (Pratas) Islands, the Spratlys, the Chungsha Islands (Macclesfield Bank) and the Hsisha (Paracel) Islands, as well as their surrounding waters, are inherent parts of the territory of the ROC,
The ROC enjoys sovereignty rights over the four island chains and surrounding waters, and will not recognize any advocacy or occupation by any other countries for any reason.
Rich in natural resources, the four island groups and their surrounding waters are claimed either entirely or in part by Taiwan, China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei.
(By Emmanuelle Tseng and Lilian Wu)
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