Tag Archives: Taiwan

South China sea’s vague 9-dash line underpins China’s claim

Although China’s claim to the area of about 3.5 million square kilometers (1.4 million square miles) is based on historical records and geographic proximity, the nine-dash line is a modern creation. It first appeared on 1947 maps produced by the government of the Republic of China, which was replaced by the communist People’s Republic on the mainland just two years later. http://deccanchronicle.com/world/neighbours/230316/south-china-sea-s-vague-9-dash-line-underpins-china-s-claim.html

Nurse first to register as Taiping Island resident

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A female nurse has become the first citizen to register as an official resident of Taiping Island in a disputed part of the South China Sea, reports said Saturday. The island, also known as Itu Aba, saw its international profile rise significantly when President Ma Ying-jeou visited it last Thursday, to the displeasure of various parties including the United States and some opposition politicians. Taiping, with its airport, harbor and hundreds of defense staff, is under Taiwan’s control and forms officially part of Kaohsiung’s Cijin District about 1,600 kilometers away. China, Vietnam and the Philippines also claim sovereignty over the Spratly or Nansha archipelago it belongs to. Nurse Chu Mei-ling became the first civilian to officially become a resident of Taiping Island after registering on January 21, the Coast Guard Administration said Saturday. “Ma said his visit was designed to stress both Taiwan’s sovereignty over the area and efforts at international cooperation and joint development. The US government described his trip as “unhelpful,” while some opposition politicians also saw it as useless, though President-elect Tsai Ing-wen said she also supported Taiwan’s sovereignty claims.” http://www.taiwannews.com.tw/etn/news_content.php?id=2875957

Taiwan’s Itu Aba Claim In South China Sea Pains U.S., Philippines, And Opposing Taiwanese

Taiwan’s president, Ma Ying-jeou, asserted his country’s claim on Taiping, or Itu Aba, in the South China Sea or West Philippine Sea, by taking a day trip to the mostly barren rock formation on January 28, 2016. United States and Philippine officials were quick to issue disapproving statements regarding Ma’s first visit to Itu Aba in his eight years as president. Taiwan’s opposition Democratic Progressive Party (D.P.P.) turned down Ma’s invitation for D.P.P. officials to accompany him to Itu Aba. According to Reuters, American Institute in Taiwan‘s spokeswoman Sonia Urbom had reservations about Ma’s trip. A.I.T., the de facto U.S. embassy in Taipei in the absence of formal diplomatic ties, found expression in Urbom’s peace advocacy prior to last-term Ma’s Itu Aba “swan song.” Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/2761270/taiwans-itu-aba-claim-in-south-china-sea-pains-u-s-philippines-and-opposing-taiwanese/#1uiJVWKKtcXIGBsp.99

World View: Taiwan May Reverse South China Sea Policy and Oppose China

There is one and only one country in the entire world that agrees with and supports all of China’s legal claims in the South China Sea. That country is Taiwan, though China says that Taiwan is not a country, but only a rogue province of China that will return to Chinese control as soon as possible. For the last few years, Taiwan has been governed by the pro-China Kuomintang (KMT) party, which favors the “one China” principle and unification with mainland China, and which has fully supported all of China’s claims in the South China Sea. But Taiwan is about to hold new elections on January 16, and the KMT party is expected to lose to the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Of Taiwan’s two major political parties, China has always been very friendly with KMT, and very hostile with DPP. China has frequently threatened military action if Taiwan’s leaders take any political steps towards independence from China, and those threats have almost always been directed at the DPP. From a generational point of view, the supporters of the KMT are mostly older generations, including the remaining survivors of Mao Zedong’s bloody Communist Revolution civil war that climaxed in 1949. The supporters of DPP tend to be in the younger generations who have no personal memories of the Communist Revolution, and who are increasingly distant from mainland China as the years go by. As the older generations die off, Taiwan’s people are likely to support independence more and more each year, which could well trigger a military invasion China. China has been annexing regions in the South China Sea that have historically belonged to other countries, and continues to use belligerent military operations to enforce its seizures. China has claimed the entire South China Sea, including regions historically belonging to Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan and the Philippines. China’s claims are rejected by almost everyone outside of China, and China refuses to submit them to the United Nations court deciding such matters, apparently knowing that they would lose. Read more: http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/12/19/world-view-taiwan-may-reverse-south-china-sea-policy-and-oppose-china/

Taiwan Officials Make Low-Profile Visit to Disputed South China Sea

TAIPEI, TAIWAN— Two Taiwan government officials visited an islet in the heavily disputed South China Sea on Saturday to kick off operations at a lighthouse. The trip is likely to irritate rival maritime claimants China and Vietnam but not touch off a major dispute. Taiwan’s ministers of the interior and coast guard head flew to Taiping Island and back with a group of scholars. They attended a ceremony to start up a lighthouse that can guide ships up to 20 kilometers away. Taiwan controls Taiping, the biggest islet in the disputed waters. The diplomatically isolated government wants its peers to respect Taiwan’s maritime claims but without causing upsets. Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou has not ruled out a visit but was not a part of Saturday’s trip. Raymond Wu, managing director of the political risk consultancy e-telligence in Taipei, said a presidential visit would have raised tough questions for the leader, who advocated in May that rival maritime claimants seek peace after four decades of bickering and occasional skirmishes. “It’s likely to receive a lot of public scrutiny domestically, and also there could potentially be reaction by other countries if Ma had gone,” Wu said. “At this particular point, Taiwan wants to demonstrate it’s a productive member of the region.” Brunei, China, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines also claim all or part of the South China Sea. China and Vietnam have been particularly aggressive in fortifying the approximately 500 islets in the 3.5 million-square-kilometer sea. China has angered other nations this year by landfilling its claims to expand its influence. Other claimants would protest if Ma had visited the islet Saturday. They were expected to notice the trip by the pair of officials but withhold hostile comment. The huge sea is rich in fisheries, commercial shipping lanes and possibly fossil fuel reserves. Taiwan holds Taiping and one other islet in the Spratly archipelago, which is surrounded by the bigger holdings of China, Malaysia and Vietnam. Ma’s peace plan advocates that the rival governments set aside sovereignty disputes and work jointly on resource exploration. Other governments dwarf Taiwan in terms of land claimed or diplomatic clout, so Taiwan has built up Taiping Island partly as an olive branch for the region. Read more: http://www.voanews.com/content/taiwan-officials-visit-disputed-south-china-sea/3100461.html

Be Careful What You Wish For: The Risks of Taiwan Shifting Its South China Sea Policy Against China

Of all the countries on Earth, only Taiwan agrees with and supports all of China’s legal claims in the South China Sea. And Taiwan isn’t even considered to be a country by China, the U.S., and most other nations. But China’s government appears to view the South China Sea as an opportunity for cooperation between the two estranged governments. The current Taiwan government tacitly supports China’s expansive claims in the region by adhering to identical claims. Because Taiwan makes these claims as a rival government rather than as a separate country, Taiwan’s statements and actions buttress and support China’s identical claims. For instance, Taiwan’s military occupies Taiping Island—the largest land feature in the much-contested Spratly Islands—and China uses Taiwan’s military presence as a basis for many of its territorial and maritime claims. Taiwan’s government also originated the controversial “9 Dash Line” claim now espoused by China, and it is Taiwanese scholars who have provided much of intellectual ammunition in support. One might expect the U.S. to welcome polls showing that the candidate of Taiwan’s traditionally pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Tsai Ing-wen, is anticipated to win next month’s presidential elections a landslide. As part of efforts to repel China’s South China Sea claims, the U.S. has reportedly encouraged Taiwan to limit or abandon its claims in the region. And on that point, Tsai is a more likely US ally than the current Nationalist Party administration. But the U.S. should proceed with caution in pushing a new Taiwan government to oppose China in the South China Sea. Support for a new Taiwan South China Sea policy will inevitably become intertwined with support for formal Taiwanese independence, a position the U.S. does not currently support. Read more: https://www.lawfareblog.com/be-careful-what-you-wish-risks-taiwan-shifting-its-south-china-sea-policy-against-china

Taiwan, Philippines to cooperate in fisheries law enforcement

Taipei, Nov. 19 (CNA) Taiwan and the Philippines have concluded a fisheries agreement, which will take effect immediately after an official announcement has been made, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release Thursday. The Agreement Concerning the Facilitation of Cooperation on Law Enforcement in Fisheries Matters, concluded Nov. 5, contains seven articles and includes three important points of consensus that have already been implemented — avoiding the use of violence or unnecessary force, establishing an emergency notification system, and setting up a prompt release mechanism, according to the press release. Aimed at seeking peaceful solutions to fishery disputes, the agreement, nevertheless, does not touch on the contiguous zone issue. Read more: http://focustaiwan.tw/news/aipl/201511190015.aspx

Fisheries pact to avert sea disputes

THE Philippines and Taiwan have signed a fisheries agreement that is envisioned to prevent a repeat of the 2013 Balintang Channel incident where a Taiwanese fisherman was fatally shot by a Philippine Coast Guard patrol. Taiwan, China and the Philippines have overlapping claims to the channel, which is both within the 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) range prescribed by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The incident triggered a diplomatic row between Manila and Taipei. The agreement was signed in Taipei by Gary Song-huann Lin of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office and Antonio Basilio of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office. In a statement, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the agreement was signed on November 5. “The pact is expected to effectively reduce fisheries disputes in the two countries’ overlapping exclusive economic zones and protect the rights and interests of Taiwan fishermen operating legally,” the statement read. After the signing, both sides immediately convened the first Technical Working Group meeting that reached a consensus on two mechanisms–a one-hour advance notification to the other party and release of detained vessels and crew within three days. Read more: http://www.manilatimes.net/fisheries-pact-to-avert-sea-disputes/230179/

Taiwan Candidate Calls for Talks on South China Sea

The leading candidate in Taiwan’s presidential election says she will arrange talks with the countries disputing South China Sea issues. Recently, Taiwan presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen spoke with a group of foreign diplomats. She said that if she is elected, she will pursue dialogue with Brunei, China, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines. Each of the countries claims all or parts of the 3.5 million-square-kilometer South China Sea. The area is rich in fisheries, shipping lanes and possible fossil fuel reserves. Taiwan controls two of the smaller Spratly islands. China, Malaysia and Vietnam control larger islands that surround them. China has raised regional tensions by occupying and building on once uninhabitable islands. They have built offshore oil rigs, as well. Tsai Ing-wen says diplomacy is the key to resolving the dispute. Read more: http://learningenglish.voanews.com/content/taiwan-candidate-calls-for-talks-on-south-china-sea/2987538.html

China building two aircraft carriers: Taiwan defense ministry report

TAIPEI – China is building two aircraft carriers that will be the same size as its sole carrier, a 60,000-tonne refurbished Soviet-era ship, according to a new Taiwanese Defense Ministry report on the capabilities of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Little is known about China’s aircraft carrier program, which is a state secret, although Chinese state media have hinted new vessels are being built. The Pentagon, in a report earlier this year, said Beijing could build multiple aircraft carriers over the next 15 years. One of the new vessels is being built in Shanghai and the other in the northeastern city of Dalian, said the Taiwanese report, which was obtained by Reuters. It gave no estimate for when construction would be finished. The Chinese Defense Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment. China is on a three-day national holiday to commemorate victory over Japan in World War Two. A Taiwanese Defense Ministry spokesman said details on the carrier program came from the ministry’s intelligence unit. He declined to give further details on the report, which was sent to parliament this week. Taiwanese intelligence agencies closely monitor Chinese military developments because Beijing has never renounced the use of force to take back what it deems a renegade province. Read more: http://www.interaksyon.com/article/117083/china-building-two-aircraft-carriers-taiwan-defense-ministry-report