Tsai says ‘resolute’ on S. China Sea territorial claim

By Stephanie Chao, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The government will be “resolute” in safeguarding its territorial claims in the South China Sea, President Tsai Ing-wen said Friday.

Tsai made the statement during the opening of an exhibition held to mark the 70th anniversary of the Republic of China regaining control over the South China Sea’s Taiping Island.

The president said Taiwan would continue to protect its maritime navigation and overfly rights in the disputed region.

The government would do so on the basis of international law and international maritime law, and with an emphasis on peace, human rights, ecological preservation and sustainability, she said.

The exhibition, titled “Sustainable Governance and Enduring Peace: An Exhibition Commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the Recovery of the South China Sea Islands,” runs until Dec. 19 at Academia Historica (國史館). Academia Historica is organizing the event in conjunction with the Interior Ministry.

The exhibition examines the history, strategic location and sustainable development of Taiping, through a collection of historical documents, artifacts, photographs and videos. After the ceremony, Tsai was given a tour of the exhibition, viewing displays including fresh produce grown on Taiping. Arable land is a key U.N. criterion for a body of land to be considered an island rather than a rock. Taiping’s agricultural output is often cited by the government when rebutting a Hague ruling in July that declared the land to a rock formation. Firm Stance The problems in the South China Sea waters are considerably complex, with countries claiming overlapping rights over much of the area, which is intricately tied to aspects such as regional security, foreign relations and countries’ political and economic interests, the president said.