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Taiwan seeking comprehensive settlement to Diaoyutais dispute

ROC Central News Agency

2013/10/04 20:01:37

Taipei, Oct. 4 (CNA) Taiwan is seeking a comprehensive settlement with Japan and China over the territorial dispute regarding the Diaoyutai Islands, President Ma Ying-jeou said recently.

'The Diaoyutai Islands involve Japan, mainland China, and the Republic of China. We are looking for a comprehensive settlement of this issue,' Ma was quoted as saying in a report by Euronews, a France-based television news channel.

In the short term, however, Taiwan has resolved the issue of fishing rights with Japan by signing a fisheries agreement in April, which increases the chances of settling the dispute, he said, according to the report dated Oct. 3.

'I believe that it is also beneficial to peace in the region as a whole,' Ma added.

Ma put forth his 'East China Sea peace initiative' last August, urging all concerned parties to put aside their territorial dispute over the Diaoyutais and jointly develop resources in the region.

The dispute has caused friction between Taiwan and Japan for some 40 years. Taiwan's position now is that while the sovereignty issue cannot be solved at the moment, resources can be shared, the president noted.

'By first resolving the resources issue, we disarm the overall dispute. When the time is right, we will deal with the sovereignty dispute,' he added.

Although a final resolution of this type of issue is necessarily a political one, it is sometimes possible to allow for joint development of resources as a means of smoothing the process, Ma said.

(By James Lee)

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