Taiwan stresses South China Sea sovereignty

File photo: Dongsha (Pratas).

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan reaffirmed ROC sovereignty over four island groups in the South China Sea June 22, expressing serious concern and protest regarding recent improper actions by neighboring countries in the islands’ surrounding waters.

“From the point of view of history, geography and international law, the Nansha (Spratly) Islands, as well as the Xisha (Paracel), Zhongsha (Macclesfield Bank) and Dongsha (Pratas) island groups and their surrounding waters are all undoubtedly integral parts of ROC territory,” the MOFA said in a statement.

“The ROC government asserts its sovereignty over these island groups and refuses to recognize moves by any other nation to occupy or claim control over them for any reason,” the ministry stressed.

“The government solemnly urges neighboring countries to abide by the letter and spirit of international law, show self-restraint and avoid adopting any measures that might undermine peace and stability in the region,” it added.

The MOFA statement followed news reports that Vietnam had passed a maritime law claiming sovereignty and jurisdiction over the Xisha and Nansha groups.

Any disputed claims in the region should be resolved peacefully through dialogue, the ministry said.

It also reiterated the ROC government’s desire to work together with other countries to develop resources in the South China Sea, based on the principles of “ROC sovereignty over the islands, the shelving of disputes, peace and reciprocity, and joint development.”

Taiwan Today