EU lawmaker backs East China Sea peace initiative

Hans van Baalen, vice chairman of the European Parliament-Taiwan Friendship Group, voiced support Nov. 2 for the East China Sea peace initiative, according to the ROC Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Van Baalen said in a meeting with President Ma Ying-jeou at the Presidential Office in Taipei City that efforts to peacefully resolve disputes in the East China Sea through recourse to international law ought to bring Taiwan a Nobel Peace Prize in the future.

He hopes mainland China and Japan can see that international law is the only way to settle this issue, the MOFA reported.

Proposed by Ma Aug. 5, the initiative calls on all parties to refrain from antagonistic actions; maintain dialogue; observe international law; resolve disputes through peaceful means; and establish a mechanism for the joint development of resources.

The parliamentarian also expressed strong backing for an economic cooperation agreement between the European Union and Taiwan, as well as one between Taiwan and the U.S.

With regard to cross-strait relations, van Baalen said an internal consensus within Taiwan is crucial. He believes the foundation Ma has built for cross-strait ties will be a key reference for all future administrations in Taiwan, according to the ministry.

Van Baalen has represented the Netherlands in the European Parliament since July 2009. Also president of Liberal International, a federation of liberal political parties worldwide, he led a parliamentary delegation visiting Taiwan Nov. 1-2.

Taiwan Today