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President suggests taking Tiaoyutai disputes to international court

ROC Central News Agency

2012/08/21 23:07:29

Taipei, Aug. 21 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou reiterated Monday Taiwan's sovereignty over the disputed Tiaoyutai Islands but suggested that all claimants could take the issue to an international court to seek a solution if necessary.

"We will not back off on the Tiaoyutais," Ma said in an interview at the Presidential Office with NHK, Japan's national public broadcasting organization. The interview was broadcast late Tuesday.

"We will continue missions to protect our fishermen operating in waters around the island chain," Ma said, adding that the Coast Guard Administration has dispatched vessels 10 times in the past four years to the area surrounding the Tiaoyutais.

Reiterating Taiwan's sovereignty over the island chain, Ma suggested that all claimants put aside their differences, resolve their disputes through peaceful means and try to cooperate on exploring and developing resources in the region.

He said his East China Sea peace initiative, proposed Aug. 5, is intended to urge all sides involved to exercise self-restraint and resolve the disputes peacefully.

During the interview, Ma noted that his administration has no intention of joining hands with China against Japan in the territorial dispute.

Taiwan, Japan and China have issued competing claims over the uninhabited Tiaoyutais for many years. They are known as the Diaoyutai Islands in China and the Senkaku Islands in Japan, which currently controls them.

(By Lee Shu-hua and Jamie Wang)

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