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South China Sea plan an extension of past peace approaches: source

South China Sea plan an extension of past peace approaches: source

Taipei, May 26 (CNA) The South China Sea Peace Initiative proposed by President Ma Ying-jeou on Tuesday hopes to extend Taiwan's peace efforts in the region to the contested South China Sea, according to a source with the Presidential Office. The initiative was the third taken by the president to bring about peace in regions neighboring Taiwan, the source said. The first, which began soon after Ma took office in 2008, has been the president's push for reconciliation between Taiwan and China under the framework of the Republic of China (Taiwan) constitution and on the basis of the "1992 consensus." According to the Ma government, the "1992 consensus" was a tacit understanding reached between Taipei and Beijing in 1992 that there is only one China but both sides are free to interpret what that means. Because of Ma's efforts, the Taiwan Strait between Taiwan and China has been transformed from one of the world's biggest powder kegs to a sea of prosperity and peace, the source said. In addressing competing claims to an island chain in the East China Sea, Ma in 2012 proposed an initiative to promote peace in the region that called on claimants to shelve disputes, pursue peace and mutual interests, and cooperate in exploring resources. Taiwan, China and Japan all claim the Diaoyutai Islands in the resource-rich East China Sea. In 2013, a year after the proposal was made, Taiwan and Japan signed an agreement on fishing rights, proof that the East China Sea Peace Initiative helped Taiwan safeguard its sovereignty and its right to fish in the disputed region. The president also hoped that these peace initiatives will establish Taiwan as a peacemaker in the world and a key to stability and prosperity in East Asia, according to the source.
The South China Sea has become a flash point for disputes as China has sparked tensions in the region in recent months by unilaterally reclaiming islands there and using them to establish military facilities. Several countries, including Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, China and Vietnam, claim all or part of the South China Sea. (By Claudia Liu and Scully Hsiao)


Updated : 2021-09-27 06:40 GMT+08:00