Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou proposed a joint peace initiative to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea and ease the tensions arising from China’s land reclamation project in the disputed areas, Focus Taiwan reports.
President Ma proposed the South China Sea Peace Initiative during a forum in Taipei yesterday, saying that all sides should show restraint, maintain peace, and resist carrying out any unilateral actions that could worsen the tensions.
The peace initiative calls on all sides to enable discussions on sharing the resources in the disputed areas of the South China Sea, saying that although sovereignty cannot be divided, the resources can be shared.
Ma said that Taiwan wants a peaceful resolution of the dispute before a “conflict breaks out.”
Taiwan has played a marginal role in the dispute over the South China Sea, which is estimated to carry USD 5 trillion in trade annually.
The land reclamation project on the Spratly islands has put China at odds with other claimants and the US, which flew a spy plane over the disputed area last week, causing tensions to escalate between the two countries.
It is highly unlikely that China will accept the peace initiative.
China claims 90% of the South China Sea based on a 1947 map, which was recently updated to a so-called nine-dash line, stretching down some 1,120 miles south from the Scarborough Shoal, which the Chinese call Huangyan island.
The line includes areas also claimed by the Philippines, Brunei, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Malaysia.
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