Taiwan reaffirmed its sovereignty over four island groups in the South China Sea July 20, urging neighboring countries and territories to exercise self-restraint and refrain from activities that impinge upon the nation’s rights.
“From the perspective 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 an inherent part of ROC territory,” a MOFA official said.
“The ROC exercises full sovereignty over the island groups and other countries and territories are in no position to question ROC administrative jurisdiction.”
The MOFA remarks follow the Vietnam government’s call for the ROC to halt all activities in the South China Sea, including a runway extension project on Taiping Island, the largest of the Nansha Islands located 1,600 kilometers southeast of Kaohsiung City.
The ROC does not acknowledge any claims to sovereignty over, or occupation of the four island groups in the South China Sea and their nearby waters by other countries and territories, according to the MOFA.
All countries and territories are urged to abide by the spirit of international law while avoiding any measures that might undermine peace and stability in the region, the ministry added.
The MOFA also reiterated the ROC government’s desire to work with other countries to develop resources in the South China Sea, based on the principles of ROC sovereignty over the islands, shelving of disputes, peace and reciprocity, and joint development.