Ma stresses importance of solving ADIZ issues through peaceful means
December 15, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- President Ma Ying-jeou addressed the legal aspects of air defense identification zones (ADIZ) Saturday, telling a forum of legal scholars that the best way to resolve disputes is rational dialogue.
Speaking at the annual meeting of the Chinese (Taiwan) Society of International Law, Ma explained that an ADIZ is meant for early warning and aviation safety and does not represent territorial claims or territorial airspace.
Ma, who holds a law degree from Harvard University and sits on the society's board, urged countries with overlapping ADIZ claims in the East China Sea to sit down for talks “to prevent accidents” in the tense region under what he has labeled the East China Sea Peace Initiative.
Admitting that he cannot predict whether talks will be effective, he said that dialogue remains the necessary choice for involved parties.
“This is not being pedantic,” he said, “but rather taking the right attitude toward handling international affairs.”
At the same time, he reiterated his government's stance that the Diaoyutai Islands, administered by Japan as the Senkaku Islands, belong to Taiwan.
The islands are also claimed by China and are covered by a broad ADIZ that China unilaterally declared in November, a move which evoked concern among other countries in the region.
China has demanded to be notified of any flights passing through the zone and threatened the possible use of force if aircraft pass through without prior notice.
Ma's peace initiative, initially proposed to resolve disputes over the Diaoyutais, calls on parties with conflicting claims to exercise self-restraint, avoid escalating tensions, shelve disputes, maintain dialogue and respect international law.
Also attending Saturday's event were Ma's former mentor Jerome Cohen, a New York University law professor, and Chen Chang-wen, a reputed lawyer who served as secretary general of Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation and president of Red Cross Society of the Republic of China.