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U.S. urges Taiwan to contribute to peace in South China Sea

U.S. urges Taiwan to contribute to peace in South China Sea

The U.S. government on Saturday called on all the claimants of the South China Sea to work to reduce regional tensions and said it hoped that a visit by Taiwan's Interior Minister Chen Wei-zen to Taiping Island in the area that day would contribute to the peace objective.

The statement came from Jennifer Foltz, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, who was responding to Chen's visit to Taipei Island, the largest of the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, which is controlled by Taiwan.

"As a matter of longstanding policy, we call on all South China Sea claimants to work to lower regional tensions," Foltz said. "We hope that Minister Chen's planned visit contributes to that objective."

Chen and Coast Guard Administration Minister Wang Chung-Yi traveled to Taiping Island Saturday for the opening of a renovated wharf and a newly constructed lighthouse.

Taiwan's Interior Ministry said the aim was to show the international community that the government plans to transform Taiping into an island of peace, ecological preservation and low carbon emissions and help realize President Ma Ying-jeou's South China Sea Peace Initiative. (By Tony Liao and Evelyn Kao)

Updated : 2021-09-20 00:28 GMT+08:00