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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


Central News Agency

2005-06-21 23:43:00

    Taipei, June 21 (CNA) The military option is the last resort of settling disputes between countries and should not be used in the country's current fishing disputes with Japan, Coast Guard Administration (CGA) Minister Shi Hwei-yow said Tuesday.

    In an interview with CNA, Shi said under a 1998 act, the Ministry of National Defense is charged with the defense of the country's territorial waters and exclusive economic zone and the enforcement of the country's laws in these waters, but that was before the establishment of the CGA.

    Since the CGA came into place in 2000, a division of labor took place between the CGA and the navy, with the coast guard enforcing the country's law while the navy defends national security on the high seas.

    In ironing out the fishing disputes with Japan, Shi suggested the government have recourse to diplomatic negotiations, followed by CGA patrols in controversial areas to turn up the heat on the Tokyo authorities, with the navy as the last option.

    He made the comments when a dozen lawmakers led by Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng cruised the controversial waters aboard a navy frigate Tuesday in an attempt to stress the country's territorial claim.

    However, Shi said, Taiwan is a democracy and the administration attaches great importance to public opinion. By deploying the warship, the government can restore the fishermen's confidence, he said.

(By Maubo Chang)


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