A member of Taiwan’s coast guard speaks as he guides visiting journalists on Taiping island in the Spratlys chain in the South China Sea.
Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou is appealing to the Permanent Court of Arbitration – expected to rule on the South China Sea dispute next month or in June – to “leave the Taiping island issue alone”.
Should the tribunal choose to determine the status of Taiping – the largest of the disputed Spratly Islands – “it should make its decision based on the facts and the law, that is, Taiping Island is an island, not a rock”, says Mr Ma. To that end, he invited interested parties, including the judges, to visit Taiping, controlled by Taiwan since 1946.
“I sincerely hope they can come and see for themselves and ask the courts to make the right decision.