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Published on : Sunday, December 1, 2013
The National Security Council of the ROC, in response to mainland China’s Nov. 23 announcement that it has established an “East China Sea air defense identification zone,” has issued a statement reiterating the following principles:
The Diaoyutai Islands are an integral part of ROC territory, a fact which is unaffected by mainland China’s declaration. The ROC government will continue to defend its sovereignty over the archipelago, protect the rights of Taiwan fishermen in surrounding waters, and maintain patrols to safeguard fishing activities. It will also keep in close contact with all parties concerned to preserve regional peace and stability.
The NSCstatement came following a meeting with heads of the ministries of the Interior, Foreign Affairs, National Defense and the Mainland Affairs Council at 3 p.m. the same day.
Regarding overlap between the air defense identification zones of the ROC and mainland China, the NSC said the ROC Armed Forces will adhere to the principles set forth in the East China Sea Peace Initiative, with the aim of resolving disputes peacefully, while taking appropriate measures to ensure the safety of ROC airspace.
President Ma Ying-jeouproposed the five-point peace initiative Aug. 5 last year, urging all parties to refrain from antagonistic actions; not abandon dialogue; observe international law; resolve disputes through peaceful means; and form a mechanism for exploring and developing resources on a cooperative basis.
The landmark Taiwan-Japan fisheries agreement which took effect May 10, resolving 40 years of disputes between the two countries, demonstrates the viability of the East China Sea Peace Initiative and serves as an empirical model for peaceful resolution of international disputes. It allows ROC fishermen to operate in areas twice the size of Taiwan with no concession on ROC sovereignty.
Located roughly 102 nautical miles northeast of Taiwan proper, the Diaoyutais are an uninhabited archipelago historically attached to the ROC.