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Landing on Diaoyutai Islands won't solve problem: president

ROC Central News Agency

2012/11/09 11:39:17

Taipei, Nov. 9 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou has rejected the idea of a landing on the disputed Diaoyutai Islands as a way of asserting sovereignty, saying that such an action will not help solve the problem.

Speaking on the issue during a Nov. 2 interview with Hong Kong-based Yazhou Zhoukan magazine, Ma acknowledged a plan by former Premier Hau Pei-tsun to dispatch a commando team to land on the Japan-controlled Diaoyutais in the East China Sea in 1990.

The plan, however, ended up being halted by then-President Lee Teng-hui, Ma said.

"I always think that even if we had landed on the island group, the problem would still have remained unresolved," he told the Chinese-language weekly.

Asked whether he has any plan to land on the Diaoyutais himself, Ma said the island group, guarded by 40 Japanese police officers, is "not under our control."

Ma said this was the reason why he opted to visit Pengjia Islet, which lies 73 nautical miles from the Diaoyutais, in September to assert the Republic of China's sovereignty over the island group.

He reiterated that the Diaoyutais are part of the ROC's inherent territory and a traditional fishing ground for Taiwanese fishermen.

Taiwan's coast guard vessels have entered waters 12 nautical miles from the Diaoyutais on many occasions to defend the rights of Taiwanese fishing boats to operate there, he said.

There have been 13 incidents between Taiwanese and Japanese coast guard ships over the past four years during his administration, Ma said, noting that five incidents also occurred during the administration of former President Chen Shui-bian.

(By Kelven Huang and Y.F. Low)

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