Thursday, April 21, 2016

'Leave Taiping issue alone'

The Straits Times

Image from article, with caption: A member of Taiwan's coast guard speaks as he guides visiting journalists on Taiping island in the Spratlys chain in the South China
Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou is appealing to the Permanent Court of Arbitration - expected to rule on the South China Sea dispute next month or in June - to "leave the Taiping island issue alone".
Should the tribunal choose to determine the status of Taiping - the largest of the disputed Spratly Islands - "it should make its decision based on the facts and the law, that is, Taiping Island is an island, not a rock", says Mr Ma. To that end, he invited interested parties, including the judges, to visit Taiping, controlled by Taiwan since 1946. ...
In recent months, Taiwan has been taking steps via public diplomacy and public relations to bolster its argument that Taiping is naturally capable of habitation and is thus an island. Last month, it invited the international media to visit the island, where goats roam and fresh well water is available. Over the weekend, academics visited as well.

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