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Two sides of strait responsible for upholding sovereignty: Beijing

Beijing, Nov. 2 (CNA) A Chinese official said Monday that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait have the responsibility and obligation to jointly uphold "the country's" territorial sovereignty and maritime interests. Hua Chunying (???), a spokeswoman for China's Foreign Ministry, was responding to an Oct. 31 statement by Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) that Taiwan did not recognize or accept a ruling by an international arbitration panel that it could hear a case brought by the Philippines against China over disputed territory in the South China Sea. The ministry's statement came after the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Netherlands ruled on Oct. 29 that it has jurisdiction to hear the case, in which the Philippines argues that China's "nine-dash line" territorial claim over South China Sea waters is unlawful under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Also Monday, the MOFA reiterated Taiwan's stance on the South China Sea. It said that from the perspective of history, geography, and international law, the Nansha (Spratly) Islands, Xisha (Paracel) Islands, Zhongsha Islands (Macclesfield Bank), and Dongsha (Pratas) Islands in the region, as well as their surrounding waters, "are an inherent part of Republic of China territory and waters." The ministry also reiterated that Taiping Island indisputably qualifies as an "island" and is categorically not a "rock." Taiping Island is the largest (about 0.5 square km) of the Spratly Islands. It began to be garrisoned by ROC forces in 1956. Taiwan's coast guard took over the task of defending the island in 2000. Among the arguments raised by the Philippines in its case against China is that rocks and reefs claimed by China, unlike islands, do not generate 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zones. (By Scarlett Chai, Tai Ya-chen and Y.F. Low)


Updated : 2021-09-27 20:40 GMT+08:00