In a marked policy shift, Taiwan plans to skip its claims to the Senkaku Islands in negotiating a fisheries agreement with Japan, sources close to the negotiations said.Ma the Peacemaker was stirring up trouble in East Asia... until, apparently, the US starting sending signals that the Ma Administration was being really really stupid -- not to mention that local fisherman really wanted to get access to those waters. Mutual non-denial in the Senkakus! Seems almost intelligent.... Yet, the Ma Administration continues to do stuff like this:
The change removes a major barrier for fisheries talks, but it remains unclear whether an agreement can be reached. This is because Japan and Taiwan claim fishing rights in overlapping waters between Okinawa Prefecture and Taiwan.
Fishermen are keen for the matter to be resolved quickly because past talks went nowhere due to the conflicting claims.
The momentum for negotiations has grown since Japan put three of the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea under state ownership in September.
Taiwan calls the five uninhabited islands Diaoyutai. China also claims the islands. Japan, which administers them, maintains that no territorial dispute exists.
Back in November, the administration of President Ma Ying-jeou was planning to push Japan to acknowledge that a dispute exists over sovereignty of the Senkakus and specify it in the proposed fisheries agreement.
But after the administration re-examined its policy in mid-March at a meeting of Cabinet ministers involved in the issue, it was decided to take a flexible approach.
Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou has unveiled two new ships that will join the patrol in waters off disputed islands in the East China Sea at the centre of a regional territorial row.Meanwhile the beat goes with Beijing as the rhetoric and reality of Chinese expansion continue.
"We will gradually build up our capabilities in the sea to enforce the law, to conduct rescue missions and protect fishermen," Mr Ma said before boarding a new ship to inspect a drill off the Kaohsiung port in the south.
Taiwan will not "concede one step" in upholding its sovereignty claim over the islands, Mr Ma said, while urging all sides involved to seek a peaceful resolution to the dispute.
- SPECIAL: Commonwealth has a piece on how ECFA is letting China flood Taiwan with agricultural products, killing the local ag industry. No wonder the government is touting Taiwan's ag exports to China -- it runs an ag trade deficit with China, and is not publicizing that. Naturally. More on that tomorrow.
- Heavy weather the next few days.
- China's shadow bankers: wealth management products gone mad. What happens to Taiwan and the rest of East Asia when/if the China economy goes ka-boom?
- NOT TAIWAN: National Geographic releasing years of its photographic treasures via its Tumblr site.
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