President Obama will encounter a host of security tensions when he makes an East Asian tour in late April. The trip is the first time the president is visiting the region since China and Japan clashed over an air-defense zone established by Beijing.
Although China isn’t on Mr. Obama’s itinerary, Beijing’s territorial ambitions and growing regional clout are sure to figure in talks at every stop. The Obama trip may also highlight the contentions between different countries as the parties concerned have sought to strengthen their air and naval power, and there are escalating tensions over maritime claims.
Concerned that conflict could affect stability in Asia-Pacific, Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou recently pushed for multilateral negotiations to establish an East China Sea code of conduct covering both sea and air in response to heightened tensions in the region.
The code of conduct that Mr. Ma proposed would call on all parties concerned to abide by the principles of international law and seek peaceful resolution to their disputes. This would ensure airspace security, safeguard freedom of aviation and promote regional peace.
As a responsible member of the international community, Taiwan calls on all parties concerned to acknowledge the growing crisis and put an end to the vicious competition that dates back to the Cold War.
Those parties with overlapping air-defense identification zones should initiate bilateral talks for solutions at the earliest possibility. Whether East Asia moves forward on the path toward stability and prosperity or becomes mired in chaos and turmoil will depend on the level of wisdom and commitment of the leaders of the nations concerned.
Taiwan urges all parties concerned to adopt rational and creative methods to contribute to peace and prosperity in the region.
Overseas Chinese Affairs Council