TAIPEI: Outgoing Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou reiterated the significance of his South China Sea Peace Initiative this week, calling on all countries and territories in the region to promote peace through collaboration.
“Taiwan’s successful peacemaking experiences in the East China Sea are helping it take the lead in advancing prosperity and stability through this initiative,” Ma said.
“We remain steadfast in fostering coordination and cooperation among all relevant parties by advocating the principles of exercising restraint in pursing peace and reciprocity, while promoting joint exploration and development of resources.”
Ma made the remarks during his opening address at the International Symposium on the Oceanic and Atmospheric Research in the South China Sea.
According to Ma, much like the East China Sea Peace Initiative he proposed in 2012, the South China Sea version is showing its worth as a model for fostering long-term stability.
“This pragmatic approach saw the inking of an agreement on bilateral cooperation in fisheries law enforcement between Taiwan and the Philippines in November 2015, setting an example for resolving decades-long regional disputes by peaceful means,” he said.
Under the pact, the two sides agreed to avoid using violence or unnecessary force, create an emergency notification system and establish a prompt crew and vessel release mechanism.
Such headway is opening up opportunities for increased collaboration between Taiwan and regional partners across an array of areas, including maritime ecology conservation, meteorological research and natural disaster warnings, Ma added.
“Taiwan has established itself as a peacemaker and provider of humanitarian aid in the global community over the past eight years. We expect to see these roles strengthen going forward by building on a foundation of mutual trust and common interests.”