President reiterates ROC’s sovereignty over South China Sea


Taipei, July 19 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) reiterated Tuesday the Republic of China’s sovereignty over islands in the South China Sea and vowed to uphold the country’s rights in the region based on international law.

Tsai made the statement in a national security meeting, the first she has convened since her inauguration on May 20.

In the meeting, the president again rejected a ruling laid down by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague on July 12 concerning a dispute between the Philippines and China in the South China Sea, according to Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺).

The court ruled that none of the Spratly Islands, including the Taiwan-held Taiping Island, could be considered “islands” under international law and are therefore not entitled to 200-nautical-mile economic zones, indirectly undermining Taiwan’s claims in the region.

Tsai said the government insists the ruling is not legally binding on the ROC and the country will never accept it.

The government has never wavered on its position that islands in the South China Sea are part of the ROC’s territory, she said, stressing that the ROC will not give up its sovereign rights over the region under international law.