On September 7, 2012, the spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam stated that the raising of the national flag of the Republic of China (Taiwan) on Taiping Island and Zhongzhou Reef by the Secretary-General of the ROC National Security Council and various other high-ranking ROC government officials violated Vietnam’s sovereignty. In response, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of the Republic of China (Taiwan) solemnly reiterates its position as follows:
1.Whether looked at from the perspective of history, geography or international law, Nansha Islands (Spratly Islands), Shisha Islands (Paracel Islands), Chungsha Islands (Macclesfield Islands) and Tungsha Islands (Pratas Islands), as well as their surrounding waters, are an inherent part of the territory of the Republic of China (Taiwan). Taiwan maintains all rights and interests over these archipelagoes and their surrounding waters and refuses to accept any claim to sovereignty over, or occupation of, these areas by other countries.
2.Without a doubt, Taiping Island and Zhongzhou Reef belong to the Nansha Islands and fall under the sovereignty of the Republic of China (Taiwan). As the ROC government has been effectively governing Taiping Island and Zhongzhou Reef for an extensive period of time, its various activities and measures with respect to the island are entirely legitimate, and there is no reason that they should generate tension in the region.
3.The government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) continues to uphold the fundamental principles of “safeguarding sovereignty, shelving disputes, pursuing peace and reciprocity, and promoting joint exploration”. Thus, it remains willing to participate in dialogue aimed at resolving disputes and promoting regional peace, stability and development. Taiwan calls on relevant neighboring countries to include it in the negotiations on the Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea and to work together to promote regional peace and development.
4.The government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) also solemnly calls on other countries bordering the South China Sea to respect the principles and spirit of international law and to refrain from adopting unilateral measures that threaten the peace and stability of the region. Furthermore, Taiwan urges these countries to exercise self-restraint and foster dialogue rather than confrontation, so that peaceful resolutions can be reached. (E)