TAIPEI–The opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said yesterday that mainland China has infringed upon the sovereignty of Taiwan and that a visit by its top cross-Taiwan Strait negotiator should be scrapped.
However, the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) urged “rationality” in dealing with the visit by Chen Deming (陳德銘), president of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS, 海基會).
Chen is scheduled to arrive in Taiwan Tuesday for an eight-day visit, during which he will head a trade delegation on a tour of nine Taiwanese cities and counties.
It will be his first visit to Taiwan since he assumed the ARATS presidency in April this year.
Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), executive director of the DPP’s Policy Committee, and Liu Shih-chuang (劉世忠), director of the party’s Department of International Affairs, said in a news conference that the government’s response to China’s unilateral announcement of an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) has been “extremely weak,” a gross negligence of duty, and that the DPP is “extremely disappointed.” At issue is an announcement by China Nov. 23 of the demarcation of the zone, which includes the disputed Diaoyutai Islands in the East China Sea. The group of islands has been under Japan’s administrative control since 1972 but is also claimed by Taiwan and China. Mainland China’s Defense Ministry said on its website that all aircraft entering the zone must notify the Chinese authorities and will face emergency defensive measures if they do not identify themselves or obey China’s rules.
The DPP demanded that the government protest strongly against the Chinese government’s move and work closely with related friendly countries such as the United States and Japan for necessary cooperation, Wu said.
Taiwan’s fighter jets and military vessels should also patrol Taiwan’s own ADIZ in waters off northeastern Taiwan in order to safeguard Taiwan’s sovereignty and security with real action, Wu said.
However, Lin Teh-fu (林德福), a KMT caucus whip, said Taiwan should of course have its stance on the ADIZ in the East China Sea, but he added that the matter should be assessed based on the nation’s overall interest and he urged no rash scrapping of Chen’s visit to avoid any unnecessary impact.