Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Taiwan President To Visit South China Sea Island

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou will visit an island in the South China Sea, a resource-rich area at the center of territorial disputes between China and its Asia-Pacific neighbors.

Ma’s office says the president will travel to Taiping island Thursday to meet with Taiwanese military personnel stationed there ahead of the Lunar New Year.

Taiping is one of many islands located in the Spratly archipelago, which are claimed by Beijing and Taipei, as well as Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei.

Taiwan has completed a major upgrade of its facilities on Taiping, including a new lighthouse and an expanded airstrip and port. The expansion is an apparent counterweight to China’s aggressive construction projects throughout the Spratlys.

Ma’s visit to Taiping is taking place just days after Tsai Ing-wen, head of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, led her party to a landslide win in recent elections.

Ma's office said the president invited his successor to accompany him to Taiping, but the DPP said it had no plans to do so.

Former President Chen Shui-bian of the DPP visited Taiping in 2008.

Taiwan and mainland China split in 1949, when the ruling Nationalists fled to island after losing the civil war to China’s communist forces.

Beijing considers Taiwan a renegade province, and has threatened to invade the island if it ever declares its independence.
 ***Itu Aba, known as Taiping

1 comment:

  1. Taiwan's Ma Ying-jeou to go to South China Sea island...

    Outgoing Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou is to visit a disputed island in the South China Sea on Thursday.

    Taiwan claims the island - which it calls Taiping but is also known as Itu Aba - in the Spratly archipelago, a chain also claimed by China and other neighbours.

    Mr Ma, who is seen to be friendly towards China, has less than four months left in his presidency.

    Incoming president Tsai Ing-wen will not send a representative on the trip.

    What is the South China Sea dispute?

    China claims most of the South China Sea, including the Spratly Islands. It also sees Taiwan as a breakaway province that will eventually be reunited with the mainland.

    Some or all of the Spratly Islands and their surrounding waters are also claimed by Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei.....


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