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May 28, 2017

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MOFA insists on ROC sovereignty despite Beijing claim

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday reiterated the Republic of China's sovereignty in an attempt to dismiss a document the Chinese government reportedly sent to the United Nations recently that claims it owns Taiwan proper and its outlying islands.

"It has been our long-standing stance that the Chinese document is deviant from the truth and we do not accept the claim it made," Perry Shen (申佩璜), head of MOFA's Department of Treaty and Legal Affairs, said at a news briefing yesterday.

The MOFA official made the comments in response to an article China reportedly delivered to the U.N. and all its members recently that has seriously infringed on Taiwan's sovereignty.

According to the Chinese-language Liberty Times, the appended document: "Declaration on China's Territorial Sea" in the "HYSY 981 Drilling Rig: Vietnam's Provocation and China's Position" article delivered by Beijing to all U.N. members, infringed on Taiwan's sovereign status.

The appended document, first declared in 1958, claims the maritime area within 12 nautical miles of China as its territorial waters, which applies to Penghu and Taiwan proper as well.

"The government of the People's Republic of China has the right to recover these areas by all suitable means at a suitable time. This is China's internal affair, in which no foreign interference is tolerated," it said.

Citing the report, opposition lawmakers yesterday urged MOFA to make a clarification to refute the Chinese claim and urge the U.N. not to accept such documents.

Asked to comment, Shen yesterday said that the Chinese statement was first released in 1958 following the Aug. 23 Artillery Bombardment at Taiwan's offshore island of Kinmen in the same year.

"We (the R.O.C. Government) protested the statement back then," he noted.

Speaking during the same news briefing yesterday, Tom Chou (周台竹), director general of MOFA's Department of International Organizations, said the R.O.C. Government has dismissed China's claim that Taiwan belongs to China back in 1958, and this stance has not changed.

Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu were returned to the R.O.C. after 1945 and it is clear the R.O.C. has sovereignty over the islands, he added.

No Info from UN: Official

According to Chou, so far the U.N. has not made any comment over the reported Chinese statement and the U.N. website also has not made public whether it received the document or not, but he stressed that no unilateral statement by another country will affect Taiwan's sovereign status.

He said once the U.N. has released information regarding the Chinese statement, MOFA will ask its diplomatic allies to stress Taiwan's sovereignty to the international body if necessary.

On Aug. 23, 1958, Chinese forces launched a bombardment of Kinmen in a failed attempt to soften the R.O.C. forces prior to a communist invasion.

1 Comment
June 18, 2014    russ.mcclay@
Good for Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I strongly approve.
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