David Yung-lo Lin, former ROC representative to the EU, took over as head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sept. 27, vowing to protect national sovereignty and fishing rights in the Diaoyutai Archipelago.
Lin, a diplomat of 30 years’ standing, includes stints on his resume as deputy MOFA minister and director-general of MOFA’s European Affairs and International Organization departments. He replaces Timothy Chin-tien Yang, who commenced duties earlier in the day as secretary-general of the Presidential Office.
The handover ceremony at MOFA headquarters in Taipei City
was overseen by Minister without Portfolio Lin Junq-tzer, who described the current and former ministers as the best candidates for their new posts. Yang was also awarded a diplomatic medal in recognition of his 43-year foreign service career.
In his first news conference as MOFA minister, Lin named his top priorities as continuing to bolster relations with diplomatic allies and other nations in accordance with the viable diplomacy approach, and expanding Taiwan’s role in the international community and regional economic integration.
The minister also reaffirmed the MOFA’s rock-solid stance on protecting national sovereignty and fishing rights in the Diaoyutais, adding that the archipelago is an inherent part of ROC territory and has been Taiwan’s traditional fishing grounds for over 100 years.
“The MOFA will maintain close communications with Japan, push for resumption of bilateral fishery talks, and promote ROC President Ma Ying-jeou’s East China Sea peace initiative as a means of resolving disagreements over the Diaoyutais,” he said.
According to Lin, Taiwan and Japan should work to promote peace and stability in Northeast Asia under the initiative, which calls on all parties to show restraint, shelve controversies, reach a consensus on a code of conduct in the East China Sea, and jointly manage and develop the region’s natural resources.
The Diaoyutais are an uninhabited archipelago located roughly 170 kilometers northeast of Taiwan proper. The island group is historically attached to the ROC and includes Diaoyutai Island and the islets of Huangwei and Chiwei.