Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou reaffirmed the country’s sovereignty over the Diaoyutai Archipelago Aug. 21, calling on Japan to acknowledge the fact and resolve disputes peacefully.
“The Diaoyutais are an inalienable part of ROC territory and we will not budge an inch on this issue,” Ma said. “Similarly, we will not stop protecting our fishermen in the region, as evidenced by the dispatch of Coast Guard Administration vessels 10 times in the past four years.”
Ma made the remarks in an interview with Japan’s national broadcaster NHK at the Presidential Office in Taipei City following a recent spate of incidents involving the archipelago.
Taiwan government greatly values Taipei-Tokyo ties, Ma said, describing them as a “special partnership” and at their “best level in 40 years.” The relationship should not sour over the Diaoyutais, he added, pledging that his administration will not join hands with Beijing on the matter.
According to Ma, Taiwan government hopes all Diaoyutais disagreements can be resolved through his East China Sea peace initiative.
“We urge all parties to refrain from antagonistic actions; shelve controversies and not abandon dialogue; observe international law and resolve disputes through peaceful means; seek consensus on a code of conduct in the region; and establish a mechanism for cooperation on exploring and developing resources,” he said.
The president also suggested that the issue could also be taken to an international court for arbitration if necessary.