Taiwan's Diaoyutais moves worry US: DPP
By Enru Lin ,The China Post
February 5, 2013, 12:14 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- U.S. officials have voiced qualms over Taiwan's recent forays near the Diaoyutai Islands, said a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker yesterday.
In a closed-door meeting with the major opposition party, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) questioned the attitude and practices with which President Ma Ying-jeou has handled the Diaoyutais dispute, according to a party lawmaker who spoke on condition of anonymity.
One U.S. concern is that Taiwan may be cooperating with China against Japan, according to a Congressional Research Service report dated Jan. 23.
Ma's moves to engage more closely with China may have created "a greater willingness in Taipei to cooperate with China on issues in which it sees their interests as aligned, such as in the East China Sea," said U.S. Asian Affairs specialists in "Maritime Territorial Disputes in East Asia: Issues for Congress."
Furthermore, the U.S. federal government is "angered" that the Ma administration has placed American neutrality at risk, said Liu Shih-chung (劉世忠), an international affairs consultant for the major opposition party.
When Taiwan's Coast Guard faced off with Japan near the Diaoyutais last September, the Ma administration said that Taiwan was asserting itself at a time when "the U.S. — Japan's ally" and China have come to an impasse, said Liu.
Addressing the same conflict, the Congressional Research Service report noted that "Taiwan dispatched military systems sold by the United States during the incident."
Last Sept. 25, Ma deployed Coast Guard cutters to escort 60 local fishing boats into the territorial waters of the Diaoyutai Islands. Taiwanese and Japanese cutters traded water canon fire before leaving the area, with no casualties reported, according to the Coast Guard of the Republic of China.