Taiwan reiterates sovereignty over Diaoyutais

File photo: Diaoyu Islands
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan reasserted the nation’s sovereignty over the Diaoyutai Archipelago Aug. 16 while receiving Sumio Tarui, head of Japan’s Interchange Association Taipei Office.

“The Diaoyutais are an inherent part of Taiwan territory, administered by Toucheng Township of Taiwan’s Yilan County,” MOFA Deputy Minister Tung Kuo-yu said. “ROC sovereignty over the Diaoyutais is indisputable, from the perspective of history, geography, practical use or international law, and unilateral claims or actions by any party will not change this fact.”

MOFA said Japan should acknowledge this fact and recognize relevant claims by the ROC government, resolving the issue jointly in a pragmatic and effective way.

With regard to Hong Kong activists who landed in the islands Aug. 15 carrying ROC, Hong Kong and mainland Chinese flags, Tung said, “The appearance of the ROC flag in the archipelago is in accordance with our sovereignty.

“It was spontaneous act, however, and we had no advance knowledge of it.”

He stressed that Taipei would not tackle the Diaoyutai issue jointly with Beijing.

The Taiwan Coast Guard Administration’s provision of food and water to the activists as they headed for the archipelago Aug. 15 to protest an upcoming visit by Japanese lawmakers was “simply an act of humanitarian aid,” Tung said.

In addition, Tung urged the Japanese government to release the protestors as soon as possible to reduce tensions in the East China Sea. “Japan’s arrest of the Hong Kong activists is not conducive to the maintenance of regional peace and security,” he stressed.

“We will continue to deal with the Diaoyutai issue peacefully and rationally according to ROC President Ma Ying-jeou’s East China Sea peace initiative, and hope that Japan can collaborate with us to maintain regional stability, creating a win-win solution,” Tung said.

Tarui also reiterated Japan’s stance on the Diaoyutais. He noted that Japan sees Ma’s proposal for cooperative action in the East China Sea in a positive light, and will strengthen collaborative ties with Taiwan in the future.

Grace Kuo