Taiwan closely monitoring China-Japan maritime talks


TAIPEI–Taiwan is paying close attention to the development of maritime talks between China and Japan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Thursday amid reports that the focus of the talks is centered on the Tiaoyutai Islands, a group of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea claimed by Taiwan, Japan and China.

“We are paying close attention to developments,” said Huang Ming-lung, secretary-general of the ministry’s Association of East Asian Relations, during a routine press conference.

Asked if the first round of talks held the previous day in the Chinese city of Hangzhou touched on sovereignty issues, Huang said he could not confirm this because the discussions were not publicized.

The Tiaoyutai Islands, known as the Diaoyutai Islands in China and the Senkaku Islands in Japan, lie about 100 nautical miles northeast of Taiwan’s northeastern tip.

In 2010, a Chinese fishing boat working near the disputed islands collided with a Japanese coast guard ship. The subsequent arrest of the Chinese captain caused a heated diplomatic row between the two sides.

Earlier this year, Taiwan also lodged several protests with Japan over the sovereignty issue.