Collaboration between Taiwan and mainland China on issues regarding the Diaoyutai Archipelago is entirely out of the question, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Steve C.C. Hsia said Feb. 19.
Hsia made the remarks following Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou’s reiteration of the impossibility of cross-strait cooperation on the matter Feb. 18. Reasons cited by Ma included Beijing’s failure to recognize the Treaty of Peace between Taiwan and Japan, and its expressed wish that Taiwan and Japan not touch upon sovereignty issues during bilateral fishery talks.
Mainland China’s lack of response to Taiwan government’s East China Sea peace initiative is also a factor, Ma added.
Hsia pointed out that “from the perspectives of history, geography, practical use and international law, the Diaoyutais are an inherent part of ROC territory.
“The Treaty of Peace between the ROC and Japan is an important legal basis for ROC sovereignty over the Diaoyutais,” he stressed, as in it Japan renounces all rights to Taiwan and the Penghu Archipelago. “Under the circumstances that mainland China does not recognize the pact, there is no basis for joining forces.”
In addition, Hsia said cross-strait cooperation in the South China Sea will also not be considered. “The ROC has consistently maintained sovereignty over the archipelagos in the region and their surrounding waters, including the Nansha (Spratly), Dongsha (Pratas), Xisha (Paracel) and Zhongsha (Macclesfield Bank) island groups.”
Hsia reaffirmed the government’s desire to work together with other countries to develop resources in the region, based on the principles of ROC sovereignty over the islands and the shelving of disputes.