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Presidential Office urges peace in South China Sea

ROC Central News Agency

2016/06/06 19:13:20

Taipei, June 6 (CNA) Taiwan's government believes that claimants to territory in the South China Sea should justify their claims based on international law and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) said Monday.

Huang reiterated the government's stance when asked about Defense Minister Feng Shih-kuan's (馮世寬) comment earlier Monday that Taiwan will ship 40,000 rounds of ammunition for its guns on Taiping Island in the South China Sea sometime between late June and early July.

The spokesman said all claimants should uphold freedom of navigation and freedom of overflight in the South China Sea, and he urged the parties involved to settle their disputes by peaceful means.

"We propose that Taiwan should be included in a multilateral mechanism for peacefully settling disputes" in the South China Sea, Huang said.

When asked, however, why while he was advocating peacefully resolving disputes Defense Minister Feng Shih-kuan (馮世寬) was talking about bolstering Taiwan's military deployment on Taiping Island, Huang sidestepped the question.

He said reporters should ask the question of the defense minister.

Feng said Monday that Taiwan will not recognize any designation of an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) that Beijing reportedly is planning on establishing over the South China Sea.

Feng also said that if he had been the defense minister 10 years ago, he would have built up Taiping Island even more than it is today.

In addition to Taiwan, claimants to disputed territory in the South China Sea include China, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam.

(By Sophia Yeh and Evelyn Kao)

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