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PresidentMa calls for peaceful solution to Tiaoyutai dispute

President Ma calls for peaceful solution to Tiaoyutai dispute

President Ma Ying-jeou called again Friday for a peaceful solution to issues related to the disputed Tiaoyutai Islands in the East China Sea.

Taiwan has long claimed sovereignty over the Tiaoyutais, as the island chain has been Taiwan's territory historically, geographically and geologically, Ma said.

He added, however, that if the dispute cannot be solved in the near future, he hopes the countries involved -- Taiwan, Japan and mainland China -- can shelve the sovereignty dispute and work together to explore the riches surrounding the Tiaoyutais, considered to be rich in oil reserves and other natural resources.

"I hope the sovereignty dispute can be solved in the same way Taiwan reached rapprochement with the mainland on cross-strait relations," he said.

The president made the remarks while meeting with a group of pundits visiting Taipei for an international seminar on the Tiaoyutai Islands.

The Tiaoyutais, known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan, are a group of uninhabited islets controlled by Japan that lie about 100 nautical miles off Taiwan's northeastern tip.

ENDS

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