A new article in The Economist had some misinterpretations about President Ma Ying-jeou’s recent remarks on the South China Sea’s territorial disputes given on September 1st as addressing the Exhibition of Historical Archives on the Southern Territories of the Republic of China.
The article mistakenly presents that Taiwan would hugely limit its claim to only the Taiping (Itu Aba) and Tungsha (Pratas) islands and 3 to 12 nautical miles of their adjacent waters – which is not true. Taiwan still bases its claim on the Location Map of the South China Sea, which was issued in 1935 and announced in 1947. The map covers all the islands, reefs and shoals and their surrounding waters. There were no objections from neighboring countries during that time. Moreover, ROC jurisdiction over the islands of the South China Sea has been recognized many times by international organizations and foreign governments, including the Conference of Directors of Far Eastern Weather Services in 1930, the International Civil Aviation Organization in 1955, and the U.S. government in 1960 for a mapping project under the Army Map Service Far East.