Taiwan has reiterated that they will not be siding with China when it comes to the issue of the disputed islands in the East China Sea known as Senkaku in Japan, Diaoyu in China, and Diaoyutai in Taiwan. For them, it is “crystal clear” that the islands are part of their inherent territory.
A day earlier, Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou ruled out any sort of collaboration between Taiwan and China. Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Steve Hsia said that their sovereignty is the premise for renewing fishery talks with Japan, who have administrative control over the islands since 1972. Ma said that it’s unlikely they will back out of this stance, citing three reasons for their adamant stand. First, he says that China’s denial of the Treaty of Taipei signed by Taiwan and Japan has made it difficult for the two to work on their issues. The treaty signed in 1952 saw Japan renounce all rights, titles and claim to Taiwan, Penghu, the Spratly Islands and the Paracel Islands. The second reason is that China has yet to respond to his “East China Sea Peace Initiative” proposal, a two stage approach to settling the island dispute between the three claimants. The initiative also calls for peaceful means to dealing with the tensions between the three nations, avoiding provocation and observing international law. Lastly, Ma says that China’s call for Taiwan not to touch on sovereignty issues with their fishing rights talks with Japan is irrational. “Without sovereignty, there would be no fishing rights in the Diaoyutai area,” Ma said.
The preparatory meeting for the fishery talks between the two will take place late February or early March. This is to negotiate fishing rights in the areas near the islands, which is closer to Taiwan than either China or Japan, but the Taiwanese fisherman have been unable to fish there for decades due to Japan’s administrative control.[ via Focus Taiwan ]