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May 27, 2017

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Foreign minister calls for peaceful Diaoyutais resolution

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Foreign Minister David Lin (林永樂) yesterday called for a peaceful resolution to the East China Sea sovereignty row as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe began his trip to the United States amid the ongoing disputes between Tokyo and Taipei over the Diaoyutai Islands.

Asked to comment on Abe's trip to Washington, Lin said yesterday that the territorial disputes between Japan, China and Taiwan over the Diaoyutais will certainly be an issue during the Japanese leader and U.S. President Barack Obama's upcoming talks.

Lin noted, however, that the escalating tensions can be resolved peacefully instead of turning into military conflict.

"Though each party involved has their own claims, it is a common goal that all agree to maintain stability in the region," Lin said in Taipei.

It is only through peaceful means that the goal of maintaining regional stability can be achieved, which is in accordance with the spirit of President Ma Ying-jeou's previously proposed East China Sea Peace Initiative, Lin said.

Ma's proposal urged all countries to refrain from antagonistic actions, to shelve their differences, to engage in dialogue, to observe international law and to resolve the dispute via peaceful means, the minister added.

He called on all sides to engage in constructive dialogue with the goal of mutually beneficial outcomes.

Lin made the remarks as Abe arrived in the U.S. Thursday for talks to fortify a key security alliance between the two nations.

Abe, who was elected in December, is scheduled to meet Obama on Friday in Washington. It is believed that Tokyo's tensions with Beijing and Taipei over a territorial dispute in East China Sea and North Korea's recent nuclear test are expected to top the agenda.

Meanwhile, Taiwan's de facto deputy ambassador to Washington said Thursday that the government will ask the U.S. to brief them on the latest development with Abe's U.S. trip.

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