FAPA Expresses Concern Over Ma Administration’s Position And Actions Regarding Senkaku / Diaoyutai
At its annual Board of Directors meeting on Saturday, December 8, 2012, the Washington-based Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA) issued an official statement expressing its concerns about the recent positions and actions taken by Taiwan’s government with regard to the territorial sovereignty dispute with Japan over the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, known as the Diaoyutai Islands in Taiwan.
The statement declares: “The administration of President Ma Ying-jeou has by its actions and statements increased tension in the region, endangered long-term stability, and damaged Taiwan’s interests, particularly those of the fishermen from Ilan County.”
The statement continues: “As Taiwanese Americans, we believe that Taiwan needs…to refrain from taking positions and actions that could increase tension and estrange our home country from its most important security allies in the region, Japan and the United States.”
FAPA further urges the Taiwanese government to: acknowledge that the islands have historically been administered by Japan; signal its support for the U.S.-Japan mutual defense treaty “as a guarantor of peace, security and stability in the western Pacific;” and “distance itself from the aggressive moves from the People’s Republic of China…and clearly state that it will not facilitate any incursion by Chinese fishermen or other groups into the disputed waters.”
FAPA President Mark Kao, PhD stated: “Taiwanese Americans are concerned first and foremost about preserving the safety and security of Taiwan. Considering the enormous magnitude of the Chinese military threat that Taiwan faces, it is completely counterproductive to risk alienating its most essential security allies, the United States and Japan.”
Dr. Kao concluded: “Moreover, the Ma government’s insistence on continuing to assert these territorial claims, on the basis of rationale that overlaps so significantly with those used by the PRC to justify its provocative actions, is inflicting serious further damage to Taiwan’s ability to be recognized internationally as a separate and independent state.”
FAPA Position on the Senkakus/Diaoyutai
Adopted by the FAPA-Board
San Jose CA, December 2012
As Taiwanese-Americans we have followed the developments surrounding Taiwan closely, and are deeply concerned by the positions and actions taken by the KMT government of President Ma Ing-jeou.
While proposing an “East China Sea Peace Initiative”, the Ma government has by its actions and positions increased tension in the region, endangering long-term stability, and damaging Taiwan’s interests, particularly those of the fishermen from Ilan County.
The Ma government has time and again harshly criticized Taiwan’s most important security partner in the region, Japan, while taking positions that are very similar to that of the People’s Republic of China, which has aggressively sought to expand its territorial claims in the region, at the expense of its neighbors.
As Taiwanese Americans, we believe that Taiwan needs to contribute to peace and stability in the region, and refrain from positions and actions that increase tension and estrange our home country from its most important security allies in the region, Japan and the United States.
We therefore propose that Taiwan support the following positions and actions:
1) That – like the United States — Taiwan does not take a position on sovereignty over the Senkakus/Diaoyutai, but acknowledges that historically they have been administered by Japan.
2) That Taiwan engages in good faith negotiations with Japan on fishing rights for Taiwanese fishermen in the vicinity of the Senkakus/Diaoyutai.
3) That Taiwan supports the mutual defense treaty between Japan and the U.S. as a guarantor of peace, security and stability in the Western Pacific.
4) That Taiwan distances itself from the aggressive moves by the People’s Republic of China; that it disassociates itself from the unfounded historic or political claims made by the PRC; and clearly states it will not facilitate any incursions by Chinese fishermen or other groups into disputed waters.
5) That Taiwan support moves towards binding arbitration on the status of the Senkaku/Diaoyutai islands at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
6) That Taiwan strengthens its historic, economic and social ties with its main security allies, The United States and Japan.