Taiwan's Legislature calls South China Sea ruling unacceptable
ROC Central News Agency
Taipei, July 15 (CNA) Taiwan's Legislative Yuan said Friday that a ruling laid down by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague earlier this week over the disputes in the South China Sea is unacceptable.
In a statement issued by the country's Legislature, lawmakers across party lines rejected the ruling, which determined that Taiwan-controlled Taiping Island (also known as Itu Aba), the largest of the Spratly Islands, is a "rock" rather than an "island."
In the case, brought by the Philippines against China in 2013, the tribunal ruled on July 12 that none of the Spratly Islands, including Taiping, could be considered "islands" and therefore could not generate 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zones.
The Legislative Yuan said the arbitration result was a unilateral decision and was not acceptable to the Republic of China (Taiwan).
"The islands in the South China Sea and the waters around the islands have long been part of the ROC's territory, and they are entitled to their rights under international law," the Legislative Yuan said in the statement.
"No other country is able to use any means to claim the islands' status or occupy them.
"The ROC will not accept any decision through unilateral international arbitration to change the status quo," the statement said.
As for Taiping Island, the ROC has occupied and controlled the island for more than half a century without interruption, the Legislative Yuan said.
It said the island is equipped with administrative and military facilities and is suitable for living.
Former presidents Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) visited Taiping Island in 2008 and 2016, respectively, visits confirming the fact that the ROC has sovereignty over Taiping Island, the Legislative Yuan said.
It stressed that the status quo "will not be changed or challenged by any other country or any international arbitration decision."
"Judging from history and taking into account all of facts, the Taiping Island is a natural island instead of just a rock," the statement said. "The arbitration ruling is contradictory to the facts."
The Legislature also took issue with the court referring to the ROC as "Taiwan Authority of China," saying it belittled the ROC, which is already a sovereignty country, and could not be accepted by the ROC government or its people.
(By Wen Kuei-hsiang and Frances Huang)
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