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June 24, 2017

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ADIZ disputants should negotiate: Ma

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- President Ma Ying-jeou said yesterday that all countries that have overlapping air defense identification zones (ADIZs) with mainland China over the East China Sea should engage in negotiations in order to prevent the risk of future confrontation.

Taiwan and mainland China have an overlapping ADIZ over the East China Sea that measures 23,000 square kilometers, the president said, adding that the administration hasn't excluded the possibility of negotiating with the other side of the strait over the issue.

Ma yesterday met with members of the American Enterprise Institute at the Presidential Office. The president said that since he took office, the administration has improved relations with the U.S., Japan and mainland China.

With regard to the U.S., the objective has been to restore mutual trust between high-ranking officials by taking a "low profile, zero accidents" approach in terms of bilateral exchanges, Ma said.

Relations with Japan have also improved markedly, with the establishment of new representative offices, flights between Taipei Songshan Airport and Tokyo International Airport, an investment agreement and an open skies agreement, the president said.

The government signed a fishery pact with Japan in April of last year, turning a 40-year dispute over fisheries in the region into mutual management, Ma said, adding that in addition to solving the aforementioned dispute, both sides have set aside sovereignty disputes, which represents significant progress.

Cross-strait Relations, Regional Economic Integration

Regarding relations with mainland China, the administration has signed 19 agreements during nine rounds of negotiations over the past five years, Ma said, adding that in many respects cross-strait relations have reached a 60-year apex of stability.

In addition to the increase of economic benefits, the most important aspect has been mutual recognition of the importance of peace, the president said.

Under the R.O.C. constitutional framework, the government has maintained a policy of "no reunification, no independence and no use of force," as well as pushed for peaceful development across the strait with the foundation of the 1992 consensus and the policy of "one China with different interpretations," Ma added.

Furthermore, the R.O.C. has continued to fulfill its roles of peacemaker and provider of humanitarian aid in East Asia, the president said.

In response to mainland China's ADIZ demarcation over the East China Sea, the government has issued a stern response, reiterating R.O.C sovereignty over the Diaoyutai Islands, Ma said, adding that military aircraft drills in the overlapping ADIZ has not been affected by Beijing's unilateral move.

The president also reiterated the administration's hope to join the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership as well as the ASEAN-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership in order to take greater part in the economic integration of the East Asia region.

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