Ma Ying-jeou proposes East China Sea peace initiative

Ma Ying-jeou outlines his proposal to settle Diaoyutai Archipelago disputes using the East China Sea peace initiative Aug. 5 at the Taipei Guest House.

Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou called on Tokyo and Beijing to join Taipei Aug. 5 in peacefully resolving disputes involving the Diaoyutai Archipelago through his East China Sea peace initiative.

“The Diaoyutais are indisputably an inherent part of ROC territory, whether looked at from the perspective of history, geography, practical use or international law,” Ma said. “It is therefore appropriate for the ROC to take the lead in settling triparty discord.”

The initiative calls for all parties to refrain from antagonistic actions; shelve controversies and not abandon dialogue; observe international law and resolve disputes through peaceful means; seek consensus on a code of conduct in the region; and establish a mechanism for cooperation on exploring and developing resources.

“East Asia is fast becoming a model of economic growth and prosperity for the rest of the world,” Ma said. “But rising tensions over the Diaoyutais in recent years are threatening to destabilize the region’s peaceful development.”

Although territorial sovereignty cannot be divided, natural resources can be shared, Ma added. “I hope this initiative will give weight to the issue, so that all parties concerned can work toward making the East China Sea one of peace and cooperation.”

The president’s remarks came during the opening ceremony of a special exhibition commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Peace between the ROC and Japan.

Signed April 28, 1952 at the Taipei Guest House by then ROC Minister of Foreign Affairs Yeh Kung-chao and Japan’s chief representative Isao Kawada, the accord acknowledged the terms of the Treaty of San Francisco in which Japan renounced all the rights, nominal rights and claims concerning Taiwan and Penghu. It also nullified all treaties concluded between the two nations before 1942.

The exhibition, which is co-organized by Academia Historica and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, runs Aug. 6-19 at the Taipei Guest House. It features photographs and documents of the Cairo Declaration, Potsdam Declaration, Treaty of Shimonoseki and the Instrument of Surrender signed by Japan after World War II.

Meg Chang
Taiwan Today