"Taiwan's awkward position" (Page A10, Friday) states that Republic of China (Taiwan) Coast Guard Administration (CGA) vessels "were deliberately nonresponsive" to China's maritime surveillance ships' invitation for a joint formation. This does not tell the full story.
On Jan. 24, when the three mainland-Chinese ships approached Taiwan's Coast Guard vessels escorting a Taiwanese fishing boat, the Coast Guard ships immediately sent out a clear message by loudspeakers and in LED lights that read: "Diaoyutai is the territory of the Republic of China. Here is the territorial water of the ROC. Please leave immediately." Moreover, the Taiwanese fishing boat was not dispatched by the government but was a voluntary action by protesters. The Coast Guard vessels were carrying out their duty to protect the boat in the Republic of China's sovereign waters.
The Coast Guard reiterated on the same day that in order to safeguard our country's sovereignty and our fishermen's safety, the administration's principles of "no provocation, no confrontation, no evasion," and its stated policy that "there are CGA vessels wherever there are Taiwanese fishing boats in territorial waters," remains unchanged.
It is important to note that on Aug. 5 Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou put forward a long-term solution to the Diaoyutai Islands disputes by proposing the East China Sea Peace Initiative. While maintaining the republic's sovereignty over the islands, the initiative calls on all parties involved to shelve disputes in favor of dialogue and jointly exploit the resources around the islets.
FRANK YEE WANG
Director, Press Division
Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States
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