Taiwan, China did not talk ahead of Taiping trip: MAC


TAIPEI–Taiwan did not contact mainland China ahead of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) visit to Taiping Island in the South China Sea, as there was no need to do so, Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC, 陸委會) said Thursday.

“We had no reason to contact them (China) over this matter,” MAC Chief Secretary Jeff Yang said during a press briefing.

The MAC said it had not heard anything from its Beijing counterpart, the State Council’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO, 國台辦), on the Taiping issue.

The TAO and MAC are the respective government bodies responsible for handling cross-Taiwan Strait affairs.

“It is nothing unusual for the president to visit our own territory and protect our sovereignty,” Yang said.

Earlier in the day, Ma visited Taiping Island for the first time in his eight-year presidency to greet Coast Guard personnel stationed there, ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday.

During his visit, Ma unveiled a proposed road map for his South China Sea Peace Initiative, which he had put forward in 2014.

The president also called for cooperation among the countries involved in the territorial disputes in the South China Sea area.