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Bejing's ADIZ actions are not conducive to better ties: Ma

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- President Ma Ying-jeou said yesterday that the mainland Chinese authorities did not consult with his administration before demarcating the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over the East China Sea, and that Beijing's unilateral actions were not conducive toward the bettering of cross-strait ties.

The president made the comments during a meeting with former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State James B. Steinberg at the Presidential Office.

The ADIZ demarcated by the R.O.C. in the 1950s and mainland China's self-proclaimed ADIZ overlap by 23,000 square kilometers, the president explained.

Shortly after the Chinese Communist Party made its announcement on Nov. 23, the R.O.C. government issued a statement reasserting Taiwan sovereignty over the Diaoyutai Islands, the president said, adding that R.O.C. military drills within the region will not be affected by the Chinese Communist Party's actions.

South China Sea ADIZ Concerns

Regarding the possibility of the mainland Chinese authorities setting up an ADIZ over the South China Sea, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said that the National Security Council and relevant government branches have already concluded a meeting on the matter, and that there are plans to reach out to Beijing.

After Beijing unilaterally demarcated the ADIZ over the East China Sea, and after the president and the Executive Yuan issued their statements, the MAC reached out to its mainland Chinese counterpart, the Taiwan Affairs Office, to reiterate Taiwan's stance, MAC Deputy Minister Wu Mei-hung (吳美紅) said.

With regard to concerns that Beijing may demarcate an ADIZ over the South China Sea, Wu said that the government is currently in the process of drawing up a plan.

KMT Responds to DPP Criticism

In response to criticism from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the Kuomintang (KMT) said yesterday that ADIZs are not directly related to questions of sovereignty, and that the government has already issued a stern statement concerning the recent ADIZ controversy over the East China Sea.

On Wednesday, DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said that President Ma Ying-jeou had responded to the ADIZ controversy too slowly and too mildly.

In response, KMT spokesman Yang Wei-chung (楊偉中) said that when the mainland Chinese authorities demarcated the ADIZ on Nov. 23, the government convened a meeting on the issue on the same day and released a four-point statement stating the R.O.C.'s commitment to safeguarding its sovereignty over the Diaoyutai Islands, as well as urging all related parties to solve matters with peaceful means, in accordance with the president's East China Sea Peace Initiative

Out of practical concerns, the U.S. government decided to treat its air force and civil airlines separately with regard to the matter, advising the latter to notify the mainland Chinese authorities when flying over the region in question, Yang said.

The KMT went on to say that Taiwan should take a pragmatic and appropriate approach when dealing with these highly complex international matters.

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