Peace proposal not a 'cure-all' but can help ease tensions: president
Central News Agency
2014-08-06 11:07 PM
Taipei, Aug. 6 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou expanded Wednesday on a peace initiative he had proposed in 2012, calling it an effective interim measure to set aside sovereignty disputes over islands in the East China Sea. During a meeting at the Presidential Office with foreign representatives attending a forum on his East China Sea Peace Initiative, Ma said it is not a "cure-all" but can help reduce the potential for conflict over territorial disputes in the region and allow the countries concerned to enjoy prosperity at this time. Cross-Taiwan Strait relations, Taiwan-Japan relations and Taiwan- Philippines fishery disputes are all sovereignty-related issues, but the key is to maintain peace and prosperity among the neighboring countries, Ma said. Based on the detente across the strait, Taiwan and mainland China can engage in more exchanges, create greater prosperity and gain more extensive support from their peoples, he said. When the level of confrontation is reduced, Ma said, the two sides can start building mutual trust and extend their good faith to foreign affairs, allowing Taiwan to enjoy greater visibility and space in the international arena. "Peace is reflected in the fact that Taiwan's disputes with Japan and the Philippines have abated significantly since the (Taiwan) government signed relevant pacts with the two countries," Ma said. He said Taiwanese fishermen now can operate in waters near the Japan-controlled Diaoyutai Islands, which allows them to take bigger catches, since the two countries inked a fishery agreement in 2013. It takes a long time to resolve sovereignty disputes and that is why the Taiwan government has put forward the concept of mutual non-recognition of sovereignty and mutual non-denial of jurisdiction for Taiwan and China to deal with each other at present, he said. "Only by temporarily setting aside the thorny sovereignty issue can the two sides engage in building greater prosperity," the president said. "What has been shelved is the dispute, not the sovereignty," he stressed. The president's East China Sea Peace Initiative calls for the claimants to shelve their differences and jointly explore and develop the resources in the region. (By Kelven Huang and Flor Wang)
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