322 words - September 25, 2013 | © DiploNews, all rights reserved.
The government of Taiwan (Republic of China – ROC) has strongly condemned the Japanese government for "completing the so-called nationalization of three of the Diaoyutai Islands, including Diaoyutai Islet, Bei Islet and Nan Islet." Considering these islands as an integral part of its territory, Taiwan has labeled the Japanese move "illegal" and lodged a strong protest for this "violation of the territorial sovereignty of Taiwan."
According to Taiwan, this "nationalization" is just another proof that Japan distorts historical facts and ignores it has lost World War II. "The Japanese government's decision to annex the Diaoyutai Islands after its victory in the First Sino-Japanese War was an act of aggression that violated international law," the Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) explained. However the subsequent defeat of Japan and the "secret and illegal occupation" following the "invasion" by Japan have made Japan's recent claims "null and void" according to international law, the MFA added.
As a result, Taiwan has demanded that the "Japanese government stop all actions that damage the relations between Taiwan and Japan and create tension in East Asia." Stressing it will never make concessions on this issue, Taiwan has proposed however a 5-point East China Sea Peace Initiative. It has called on all parties concerned to 1) refrain from taking antagonistic actions, 2) shelve controversies and not abandon dialogue, 3) observe international law and resolve disputes through peaceful means, 4) seek consensus on a code of conduct in the East China Sea, 5) establish a mechanism for cooperation and exploring and developing resources in the East China Sea.
Though a relevant initiative, the 3rd point of Taiwan's proposal will likely come up against the parties' specific and different interpretations of international law. This new incident showed the ongoing maritime and territorial disputes still have the potential of generating tension in East Asia. Besides a similar situation took place with the Philippines this week.
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