ROC Central News Agency
Taipei, July 17 (CNA) Taiwan’s assertion of sovereignty over the Taiping Island in the wake of a ruling issued by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague has been widely covered by international media, Cabinet spokesman Tung Chen-yuan (童振源) said Monday.
In a case brought by the Philippines against China in 2013, the tribunal ruled on July 12 that none of the Spratly Islands, including the Taiwan-controlled Taiping Island (also known as Itu Aba Island) could be considered “islands” and are not eligible to claim 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zones.
Right after the arbitration ruling was laid down, Tung said, the government immediately called the ruling unacceptable since Taiwan was not invited to participate in the arbitration process to present its views.
The government has repeatedly said that it refused to accept the ruling and the decision was not legally binding, vowing to protect its sovereignty over Taiping, the largest island in the Spratly Islands, Tung said.
Such messages have been conveyed by the government through a slew of news releases and statements, and many international media have published or aired the information globally, Tung said.
Tung cited statistics as saying that international media carried or broadcast more than 40 stories on the government’s stance on Taiping Island. The international media included CNN, Reuters, AFP, Bloomberg and those from Japan, the Philippines and Singapore.
After making the stance on Taiping Island clear to the world, the government has now focused on a move to step up coast guard patrol of the South China Sea, Tung said.
Tung said although the waters surrounding Taiping Island are not the major fishing area for Taiwan, the Coast Guard Administration (CGA) still dispatched a 1,000-ton patrol vessel, the Taitung, on July 16. The vessel will remain in the area indefinitely to safeguard Taiwan’s territory and protect its fishermen’s rights, according to the CGA.
The 1,800-ton Wei Hsing patrol vessel, which left for Taiping Island on July 10, will head back to Taiwan on Tuesday . Tung said that the dispatches of the two patrol vessels showed the government’s determination to make sure Taiwan’s fishermen will be protected while fishing in the waters around Taiping Island.
(By Tai Ya-chen and Frances Huang)
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