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Taiwan hoping for talks with ASEAN states on territorial dispute

ROC Central News Agency

2012/10/30 18:08:15

Taipei, Oct. 30 (CNA) Taiwan is hoping to hold discussions with members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on a code of conduct for the disputed South China Sea, the foreign ministry said Tuesday.

Chou Yin-hwou, deputy director-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said Taiwan is "closely monitoring" developments on the proposals for a code of conduct in the disputed South China Sea area.

He said it would be regrettable if Taiwan was excluded from the discussions of the proposals among those members of ASEAN that are also claimants to the disputed area.

The territorial issue is expected to be discussed at the ASEAN summit in Cambodia in mid-November, Chou said.

Taiwan is not a member of the regional grouping.

Taiwan holds sovereignty and administrative control over Taiping Island and other islets in the Spratly Islands and will not recognize any other sovereignty claims to the area, according to Chou.

He reiterated that Taiwan's stance is to deal with South China Sea disputes based on the principles of safeguarding sovereignty, putting aside differences, maintaining peace and reciprocity, and pursuing joint development of resources.

Taiwan is willing to hold dialogue with the other claimants and discuss the formulation of a code of conduct for the disputed area, Chou said.

Rich in natural resources, the South China Sea region is claimed either entirely or in part by Taiwan, China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei.

Covering an area of 0.49 square kilometers, Taiping lies about 1,600 km southwest of Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan. It is the largest of the Spratly island chain in the South China Sea.

(By Elaine Hou)

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