News / Asia

Taiwan Seeks Peace Talks Over China Air Defense Zone

Computer screens display map showing outline of China's new air defense zone in the East China Sea, website of Chinese Ministry of Defense, Beijing, Nov. 26, 2013.
Computer screens display map showing outline of China's new air defense zone in the East China Sea, website of Chinese Ministry of Defense, Beijing, Nov. 26, 2013.
Ralph Jennings
— Taiwan appealed for peace talks on Tuesday after China established an air defense zone over the East China Sea, enraging Japan. Analysts think the call for peace will help Taiwan stay on the good side of both China and Japan as they square off against each other.
 
Since China announced last week an air defense identification zone covering a chain of East China Sea islets that are claimed by both China and Japan, the United States and Japan have flown planes into the zone without notification. Now, Taiwan has announced that its military will conduct normal patrols and also has no plans to comply with China’s demand for notification when aircraft pass through its defense zone.
 
However, Taipei has become the lone voice asking that the disputants sit down and talk. Taiwan foreign ministry spokeswoman Anna Kao said on Tuesday that her government wants the disputants to discuss regional stability.
The disputed airspaceThe disputed airspace
x
The disputed airspace
The disputed airspace

Kao said her ministry hopes every relevant party can use Taiwan’s year-old East China Sea Peace Initiative proposal to work on safeguarding peace and stability in the region. She also added that Taiwan’s government is paying a high level of attention to developments in the region, and that the foreign ministry will maintain close contact with the United States and Japan.
 
Taiwan cannot sound off as loudly on the issue as Japan or the United States because of its unique political status. China has long considered the self-ruled island, which sits just 160 kilometers offshore of mainland China, to be a breakaway part of its own territory. This has been official policy since the Chinese civil war in the 1940s; in the past, China has threatened to take the island by force if necessary.
 
However, the two sides have respected their own exclusive air and sea zones for decades, and in 2008 they started easing hostilities with non-political dialogue that has brought economic gains to Taiwan. Officials on both sides have avoided outward confrontation during the dialogue process.
 
Taiwan sees its former colonizer, Japan, as a solid informal ally. More recently, Taiwan and Japan have developed economic and cultural ties, and in April the two reached a deal to allow Taiwanese fishermen to fish in disputed waters. The move was seen by some as a slight against Beijing.  Nathan Liu, international affairs professor at Ming Chuan University in Taiwan, suggests that a conciliatory approach from Taiwan to China’s air defense zone could deliver more benefits, such as the fishing rights deal with Japan.
 
“Taiwan in reality has no bargaining chips at all. Taiwan has nothing to lose, and actually Taiwan gains something, because they have this fishing agreement with Japan,” said Liu.
 
China would oppose any multilateral talks brokered by Taiwan, as it does not consider the island a state empowered to conduct diplomacy. It would also block Japan or the United States, both formal diplomatic allies of Beijing, from engaging Taiwan.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid