Taiwan says it will stick firmly to its stated position that sovereignty over the South China Sea islands belongs to the ROC, according to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Timothy Chin-tien Yang (杨进添) during a legislative session Oct. 19.
Other countries proclaiming sovereignty over the area “should stay calm and reasonable, and settle the dispute over the islands based on the principles of equality and reciprocity, with a view to jointly developing and sharing the resources,” Yang said. “Only peace can really solve the problem.”
Asked to comment on the suggestion by Kuomintang Legislator Lin Yu-fang, that the ROC should deploy short-range air defense missiles on the islands, Yang responded: “I support any kind of method to strengthen the ROC’s defense forces in the South China Sea region.
“Peace is built on one’s actual strength. Without strength, peace will disappear.”
According to Yang, the ROC will do its utmost to maintain sovereignty over the islands. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been actively engaged in discussions with neighboring countries over the issue, including attending relevant conferences hosted by the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam,” Yang said. “We will also send a delegation composed of officials and scholars to participate in a conference to be held in Indonesia this November.”
The South China Sea islands, which comprise the Dongsha, Nansha, Xisha and Zhongsha islands, are also claimed either entirely or in part by Brunei, mainland China, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam. The waters surrounding the islands are rich in oil deposits and marine biodiversity.