World / Asia-Pacific

Taiwan rejects ruling on islands

By Xinhua - China Post (China Daily) Updated: 2016-07-15 08:24

Taiwan's major political parties have voiced their strong opposition to the ruling in the South China Sea arbitration and called for safeguarding China's sovereignty.

Taiwan's Kuomintang party said that the South China Sea islands are the inherent territory of China and that China has clear strategic interests there and should not give up any sovereignty.

The Kuomintang called the arbitration "deceitful and shameful", saying that the party was absolutely dissatisfied with it, and will not accept nor recognize it.

People First Party issued a statement saying that it will not accept the ruling, and it called for enhanced military preparations in the South China Sea.

New Party chairman Yok Muming said that the arbitration ruling is not legally binding. He said the two sides of the Taiwan Straits should join hands to safeguard China's inherent territory.

The Arbitral Tribunal in The Hague issued its ruling on Tuesday, despite a global chorus of objections that it has no jurisdiction.

The ruling said the South China Sea formations, including Taiping Island, which is garrisoned by Taiwan military forces, are rocks, instead of islands, which cannot demand the rights of special economic zones.

Taiping, a 0.49-square-kilometer island about 1,600 km southwest of Kaohsiung, is the largest of the Nansha Islands.

In response, Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen said on Tuesday the ruling was "completely unacceptable" and had no legally binding force.

She boarded a warship steaming for a South China Sea patrol mission on Wednesday and addressed its crew during a tour of a naval base.

Kuomintang caucus leader Lin Te-fu demanded on Wednesday that Tsai personally visit Taiping Island, pointing out that former Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou had visited the island during his term.

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