News / Asia

Taiwan Suggests Code of Conduct for East China Sea

Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou cheers with the audience during National Day celebrations in front of the Presidential Office in Taipei, Taiwan, Oct. 10, 2013.
Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou cheers with the audience during National Day celebrations in front of the Presidential Office in Taipei, Taiwan, Oct. 10, 2013.
Ralph Jennings
China and Japan have tested each other’s patience for 18 months with claims to the same patch of ocean. Now Taiwan, a third but smaller claimant to the same area, is suggesting a code of conduct to avoid missteps or accidents. Taiwan normally gets little attention for diplomacy because of opposition from China but hopes to change that with this proposal.

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou has suggested that Tokyo, Beijing and his own government negotiate a code of conduct outlining measures to avoid deadly mishaps during tests of military strength over control of the East China Sea. His idea is similar to a code discussed in Southeast Asia since 2012 to smooth competing claims in the South China Sea.

Because Taiwan lacks the diplomatic clout to negotiate cross-border deals, China and Japan are not expected to react publicly. But both sides and the United States are expected to welcome the idea informally as an alternative to conflict. Alexander Huang, strategic studies professor at Tamkang University in Taiwan, said Taiwan wanted to prove its leadership ability despite its marginal status.

“If in the future there will be a multilateral dialogue and Taiwan’s voice should not be ignored, President Ma wanted to climb to the high ground before others,” he said.

Ma suggested the code of conduct to cover the air space and waters of the East China Sea at a Taipei conference Wednesday. He also called for establishing a way for rival governments to work out air defense identification zone disputes. China delineated an air defense zone over the disputed area in November, alarming Japan and Taiwan as it overlaps their sea claims.

For 18 months Beijing and Tokyo have tested each other’s commitment to their claims to 40,000 square kilometers of ocean with ship movements and flyovers. Both are eyeing undersea natural gas deposits in the same tract east of Shanghai. Taiwanese fishing boats trawl around eight Japanese-controlled islands in the disputed area and occasionally clash with Tokyo’s coast guard. Two years ago President Ma proposed that the three claimants share resources in the East China Sea.

Scholars from Japan and the United States have welcomed the code of conduct proposal because it would reduce the risk of conflict without compromising any side’s sovereignty claims. The U.S. government wants peace in East Asia so it can maintain economic engagement with China as well as military relations with Japan and Taiwan, a sore point in Beijing.

Alexander Huang said the United States has been waiting for someone to take the lead in defusing the regional tensions.

“Friends in Washington would welcome this kind of statement and gesture and Taiwan’s effort to raise this issue. It would be very hard to go beyond the president’s statement and say hey we’ve got better solutions or proposals,” he said.

Taiwan hopes its proposal will enhance its status with the U.S. and help win a seat for Taipei in the Trans Pacific Partnership trading bloc.

China sees self-ruled Taiwan as part of its territory and uses its economic clout to bar other governments from negotiating with Taipei, hampering trade deals and muting efforts at regional diplomacy. But China has sought to ease tension with Taiwan since 2008 and may seek private code of conduct talks with Ma’s government to cut out Beijing’s chief rival Japan.

You May Like

Anti-Terror Drills Highlight China’s Push Into Central Asia

China, Russia, several central Asian countries wrap up massive anti terrorism military drills in Inner Mongolia More

Erdogan’s First Step: Secure More Power in New Role in Turkey

Erdogan was sworn in as Turkey's first popularly elected president on Thursday; he picked former foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu as PM More

Pakistan Army Fails to Break Political Deadlock

PM Sharif claims he didn't ask army to defuse crisis; military rejects claim More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jonathan huang from: Canada
March 01, 2014 4:53 PM
Both China and Taiwan agreed that Diaoyu islands belong to Taiwan province and Yilan county!
Also both China and Taiwan agreed that South China Sea is Chinese!

In Response

by: Dan from: USA
March 03, 2014 2:45 PM
@Wong from USA, I wonder how many generation does that gonna take to simply eradicate your racist gene.

In Response

by: Jonathan huang from: Canada
March 01, 2014 11:06 PM
@Wong from USA, I pray one day China will be as greedy as America! I wish China can attack any country she doesn't like with a fake excuse and without UN permission.

In Response

by: Wong from: USA
March 01, 2014 9:44 PM
How many chinese generations have to pass so that there is no more greedy chinese in Canada?
Why does china have to sacrafice its people to compete with America?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assaulti
X
Daniel Schearf
August 29, 2014 9:30 PM
After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.

AppleAndroid