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June 24, 2017

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European lawmaker lauds stance on East China Sea

TAIPEI--A member of the European Parliament supports the Republic of China's call for resolving territorial disputes over the Diaoyutai Islands in the East China Sea through international law, saying it is the only way to resolve the fracas.

Hans Van Baalen, vice chairman of the European Parliament-Taiwan Friendship Group and president of Liberal International, said in a meeting with President Ma Ying-jeou that he hoped China and Japan, which both also claim the island group, will understand that international law is the only way to resolve the dispute.

Ma said he agreed with Baalen's views, and voiced appreciation for a statement made by the European Union's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in the wake of rising tensions over the disputed islands.

"The EU urges all parties concerned to seek peaceful and cooperative solutions in accordance with international law, in particular the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea," the statement said.

"Such a view is identical to the East China Sea Peace Initiative I proposed on Aug. 5," Ma said.

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