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Taiwan: South China Sea talks must include Taiwan

Taiwan: South China Sea talks must include Taiwan

Taiwan will not accept any resolutions over the disputed South China Sea region unless it is involved in relevant talks. That's the word from foreign ministry official Ger Bau-shuan on Thursday. The region is claimed in part by many countries, including Taiwan, Mainland China, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

Ger's statements come after a conference of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in late July. At the conference, Mainland China and ASEAN member states agreed to guidelines for dealing with disputes over the South China Sea. But Taiwan, which is not a member of ASEAN, was not invited to participate in those talks.

In response, Ger said Taiwan will not accept any resolutions to the sovereignty disputes unless it is involved in the decision-making process.

"As everyone can see, many countries are aware of our presence and our influence in the region," said Ger. "We will increase the use of our soft and hard power to show those countries that without Taiwan's participation, they cannot come up with an appropriate resolution to the South China Sea issue."

In related news, Control Yuan member Lee Ping-nan, the nation's government watchdog, has visited the Taiwan- controlled Taiping island in the South China Sea on Wednesday. That marks the first time a Taiwanese official has set foot in the disputed region since tensions began flaring in past months. The official said that the location of the island is very important strategically since it can be used as a military base and a tourist site.

ENDS

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