While commentators constantly praise President Ma for "lowering tensions" with China -- though he has no control over tensions, that is a decision of Beijing's -- most analysts continue to miss Taiwan's involvement in other flash points with China. Another one of these flash points was in the news today:
The ROC government has reaffirmed its sovereignty over four island groups in the South China Sea following recent international disputes in the region, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.Note that while analysts in the west often argue that Taiwan should be sold to China (and recall that many of these analysts have businesses in China), none to my knowledge has ever argued that the ROC government should drop its bizarre claims to the Senkakus and to the Spratlys and other islands in the increasingly touchy South China Sea. Wouldn't it be more logical to ask the government of Taiwan to drop these minor claims and see what effect that has before handing 23 million citizens of a democratic island over to a government that imprisons people for saying the milk is toxic?
“The ROC has unquestionable sovereignty over the Dongsha, Nansha, Xisha and Zhongsha islands and their surrounding waters, from the perspectives of history, geography and international law,” MOFA said in an April 17 statement.
The ROC cannot accept any counterclaim to sovereignty over, or occupation of, these areas, the ministry added.
MOFA’s comments follow last month’s clash between a Philippine oil-exploration vessel and two mainland Chinese patrol boats in the South China Sea.
In addition to being potential flash points for conflicts, these claims to the Senkakus and the Spratlys also interfere in good relations with neighboring powers whose support Taiwan needs.
- Tito Bacchus' excellent article on casino gambling in Matsu. Having failed at promoting it for the Penghu, the government is now pushing it in Matsu.
- DPP Foreign sends around a nifty collection of DPP related stuff every week or so. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Taiwanese artists express support for Ai Wei-wei.
- Green in Taiwan needs more than lip service.
- Videos from the Huadong Bicycle Race
- A good one on bike design
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