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May 29, 2017

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German representative lauds President Ma's peace initiative

TAIPEI--President Ma Ying-jeou's East China Sea Peace Initiative is a good way to solve the territorial dispute over the Diaoyutai Islands, Michael Zickerick, director-general of the German Institute in Taipei, said yesterday.

"We do sincerely hope that it will be possible to find a peaceful solution," Zickerick told CNA on the sidelines of an event to celebrate the Day of German Unity.

He said Europe is following developments on the Diaoyutais issue very closely.

Tensions over the Diaoyutais in the East China Sea have escalated since Sept. 11, when Japan moved to nationalize the island group by buying three of the islets from a private owner, spurring anti-Japanese protests in many Chinese cities, as well as in Hong Kong and Taipei.

The uninhabited Diaoyutai Islands, known as the Senkakus in Japan and the Diaoyu Islands in China, lie about 100 nautical miles northeast of Taiwan. They have been under Japan's control since 1972,but are also claimed by Taiwan and China.

On Aug. 5, President Ma Ying-jeou proposed the East China Sea Peace Initiative to address the dispute. He said all parties involved should refrain from hostile action, put aside differences, not abandon dialogue, observe international law and resolve the dispute by peaceful means.

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