Armed forces confident about security of Tiaoyutais
ROC Central News Agency
Taipei, Sept. 11 (CNA) The armed forces of the Republic of China have programs in place to defend the airspace over the Tiaoyutai Islands, which are the country's territory, a military source said Tuesday.
The islands, currently under Japanese control, are also claimed by China.
There is no question about ROC sovereignty over the Tiaoyutais and the armed forces have comprehensive contingency plans to ensure the safety of flight routes and shipping lanes around the islands, said the sources.
Meanwhile Luo Shou-he, a spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense, said the ministry will follow the government's policy, as well as the instructions of the National Security Council, in dealing with the dispute over the uninhabited islands.
In a response to questions from reporters about the nature of the armed forces' security measures around the islands, Luo said the Defense Ministry is keeping a close eye on the dispute and the situation surrounding the islands.
Meanwhile, a political observer in Hong Kong said China's People's Liberation Army is ready to weigh in the territorial dispute over the Diaoyu Islands, the name by which the islands are known in China.
Li Feng, secretary-general of the Hong Kong Institute of Asian Pacific Studies, said Beijing has said all it has to say after its foreign ministry called in the Japanese ambassador to protest Japan's plan to buy three of the islands from private ownership, while its premier and foreign ministry issued their own statements about the issue.
In addition, Beijing has announced its baselines of territorial waters around the Tiaoyu Islands and has sent two fishery patrol boats to the area, taking the confrontation to only one step from actual military conflict, according to Li.
He predicted that the PLA will step in if the Chinese patrol boats are stopped by Japanese warships in waters near the islands.
"The army has the responsibility under the Constitution to defend the territory and people, and in the face of Japanese provocation, Beijing will have no choice but resort to force," said Li.
(By Stanley Cheung and Maubo Chang)
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