Foreign Ministry of Taiwan reaffirmed national sovereignty over the Diaoyutai Archipelago July 19, adding that the government will not work with mainland China on the resolution of disputed claims to the islands.
“We have our own established policy and our own national interests,” MOFA spokesman Steve C.C. Hsia said.
Hsia made the comments following the publication of a survey in the local Chinese-language China Times the same day that showed around 50 percent of respondents in Taiwan support the notion of Taipei cooperating with Beijing to resolve claims to the Diaoyutais in the East China Sea and to several island groups in the South China Sea.
Japanese media services have reported that Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara was raising money for his plan to purchase three islands in the Diaoyutai chain and was applying for permission to visit the archipelago.
“The Diaoyutais are an integral part of ROC territory,” Hsia stressed, urging countries involved to adopt a rational and peaceful approach and to avoid taking any unilateral actions that might have a negative impact on regional peace.
Noting that the issue of the Diaoyutais and South China Sea islands involves national security, Hsia said MOFA has solemnly expressed its position to Tokyo and the ministry is closely monitoring the situation for any moves by Japanese politicians or other parties that might infringe upon the ROC’s sovereignty.
The Diaoyutais are an uninhabited island chain located roughly 170 kilometers northeast of Taiwan proper. The South China Sea archipelagos in question are the Dongsha (Pratas), Nansha (Spratly), Xisha (Paracel) and Zhongsha (Macclesfield) islands.