Taiwan reiterates sovereignty over Diaoyutais
ROC Central News Agency
Taipei, Nov. 2 (CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterated Taiwan's sovereignty over the Diaoyutai Islands on Friday, just days after China said its ships chased away Japanese ships from waters near the disputed East China Sea archipelago.
The ministry urged China and Japan, which also claim the islands, to set aside their disputes as proposed by President Ma Ying-jeou.
As one of Taiwan's outlying islands, the ministry said, the Diaoyutais are part of the inalienable territory of the country, formally known as the Republic of China, whether based on history, geography or geology, and the waters around it are traditional fishing grounds of Taiwan's fishermen.
The ministry made its comments in a statement issued Friday evening in response to Chinese news reports that Chinese government ships sailed within 12 nautical miles of the islands and chased away Japanese patrol boats on Oct. 30.
Although the Republic of China will spare no effort to defend its people's fishing rights around the islands, the country is willing to set aside its differences with other states and join them in exploring for resources around the Diaoyutais, the statement said, citing a proposal made by Taiwan's president.
The ministry urged all parties involved in the dispute to study Ma's proposal, called the East China Sea Peace Initiative, work out a code of conduct related to the islands, and set up bilateral negotiations and then three-party negotiations to deal with the issue.
(By Emmanuelle Tseng and Maubo Chang)
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