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Taiwan reaffirms sovereignty over Spratlys

Taiwan reaffirms sovereignty over Spratlys

Taiwan reiterated its sovereignty over the disputed Spratly Islands Thursday after the Philippines recently revealed its plan to repair an airstrip in the area.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Steve Hsia said that from the perspective of history, geography and international law, the Spratly Islands, the Paracel Islands, the Macclesfield Bank and the Pratas Islands in the South China Sea, as well as their surrounding waters, are the inherent territory of the Republic of China.

"We will not recognize any party that takes unilateral action that undermines our sovereignty over the South China Sea region," he said at a news briefing.

His remarks came in response to Manila's plans to repair an airstrip on Zhongye Island in the Spratlys to develop tourism on some adjacent islets.

Hsia also urged other countries with claims to the South China Sea area to refrain from any unilateral action that could affect peace in the region.

Taiwan is willing to explore resources in the region under the principles of safeguarding ROC sovereignty, shelving differences, pursuing peace and reciprocity and jointly developing the resources, he reiterated.

Meanwhile, commenting on the recent escalating tension between China and Japan over the disputed Diaoyutai Islands, Hsia called on the parties involved to seek peaceful dialogue to address the dispute.

Reaffirming Taiwan's sovereignty over the Diaoyutais in the East China Sea, Hsia said Taiwan is also willing to jointly develop resources in the region.


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