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May 26, 2017

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Row with Philippines has nothing to do with 'one China': minister

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦), minister of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), yesterday thanked mainland China for its concern over the recent spat between Taiwan and the Philippines, stressing, however, that it is the responsibility of the Republic of China government to protect the nation's fishing rights in the South China Sea.

A Taiwanese fisherman was recently shot dead by Philippine coast guards while operating in waters claimed by both Taiwan and the Philippines.

When asked to comment on Philippine President Benigno Aquino's "one China" remark, Wang said that the case should be handled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Aquino was previously quoted by reporters as saying that the case will be dealt with by the Manila Economic and Cultural Office, in accordance with the one China principle, drawing ire from Taiwan's politicians.

The MAC's stance is very clear: the dispute between Taiwan and the Philippines has nothing to do with the one China policy, and the Philippine government should focus on how to meet the Republic of China's demands instead, Wang said.

The minister expressed gratitude toward mainland China's concern over the incident, but stressed that it is the Republic of China government's responsibility to protect the nation's fishing rights in the region, adding that matters need not be complicated.

The mainland Chinese authorities recently issued a statement expressing their condolences to the victim's family and condemning the Philippines for the shooting.

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