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June 29, 2017

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Gov't reiterates sovereignty amid Beijing map plan

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday reiterated Taiwan's claim to sovereignty amid reports China is planning to issue a new map that includes Taiwan's territories as part of the People's Republic of China's.

Citing the Republic of China's (R.O.C.) Constitution, MOFA spokesman Steve Hsia yesterday reaffirmed that the nation's territory includes those regions effectively controlled by mainland China as well as Taiwan.

The Diaoyutai Islands in the East China Sea and the Spratly Islands, Paracel Islands, Chungsha Islands and Tungsha Islands in the South China Sea, as well as their surrounding waters, are an inherent part of the R.O.C.'s territory as well, he added.

Asked whether MOFA would issue a protest to Beijing over the move, Hsia said it is not for his ministry to do so since such matters fall under the Mainland Affairs Council, Taiwan's top body in charge of China policy.

Hsia's remarks came after recent reports that a new Chinese map, which is to be made public soon, will include disputed areas that are claimed by other countries as official PRC territories. The map is expected to claim around 130 currently disputed territories, including the Diaoyutais, which are claimed by Taiwan, China and Japan.

According a Sunday report by China's state-run Xinhua News Agency, the new map of the country will also include other areas in the East and South China Seas.

China's National Administration of Surveying, Mapping, and Geoinformation is expected to publish the new map at the end of this month.

This news has already raised concerns from other countries who assert sovereignty over some of the regions expected to be included in the map, including the Philippines.

Manila has said it will verify China's new map and the extent of its coverage in the South China Sea, which the Philippines calls the West Philippine Sea, before taking action.

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