The Taiwan Conundrum: Maritime Security Capacity Building in East Asia Before a Taiwan Strait Settlement

March 10, 2010
Papers in Australian Maritime Affairs No. 30

 The Taiwan Conundrum:
Maritime Security Capacity Building in East Asia Before a Taiwan Strait Settlement

By John J. Tkacik, Jr.

It is no longer a question of "if" Taiwan and China will ever reach a "peace accord" that will finally resolve Taiwan's status within the Chinese political state, but "when". And the "when" will probably come sooner – within a few years – rather than later. Over the next three years, East Asian littoral states will have to come to terms with imminent Chinese preeminence in their maritime space. However, East Asian governments may have an opportunity to shape – while they still can – the post- China/Taiwan "peace accord" maritime environment by integrating Taiwan into cooperative regional maritime arrangements that will preserve the status quo.

Beijing and Taipei are on the verge of a geopolitically momentous tectonic shift in the Western Pacific. By the end of 2009, Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou wants to implement an "Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement" (兩岸經濟合作架構協議) that promises to integrate Taiwan's entire economy with China's yet will not be amenable to popular referendum. Ma proposes adopting China's "simplified character" writing system in Taiwan schools, a move that convinces his political opponents of his intention to merge Taiwan's educational system with China's. By 2012, or even sooner, President Ma (certain on July 26, 2009, to be reinstalled as the Chairman of Taiwan's "Chinese Nationalist Party" – KMT) hopes to have signed a "peace agreement" with his Chinese Communist Party counterpart. Beijing has no doubt Ma's new status as KMT party chairman will allow him to negotiate "on an equal footing" with his CCP counterpart.

Given the current correlation of forces in Asia: China's determination to absorb Taiwan; American and Japanese unwillingness to interpose any objections to Taiwan's ultimate integration with China; and the fact that there are no national level elections in Taiwan until 2012, it seems unlikely that Taiwan will persist long as an independent political actor in the region.

This presents virtually all other East Asian and Southeast Asian littoral states with a profound albeit subtle conundrum: How to deal with a China that has expanded territorial and exclusive economic zone claims in the Western Pacific and the South China Sea. Will the Taiwan Strait become a Chinese "inland waterway"? Will the EEZ and territorial seas encircling Pratas (东沙) Atoll govern shipping and fisheries in the Bashi Channel and collide with the interests of the Philippines? Will the substantial Taiwan infrastructure on Itu Aba (Taiping太平) Island in the southernmost South China Sea become a Chinese baseline from which to enforce Beijing's peculiar territorial and EEZ demarcations in conflict with Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines and possibly Indonesia? Finally, how will a new China/Taiwan entity address ongoing fisheries and seabed delimitations with Japan in the East China Sea? Japanese-Chinese frictions over the Senkaku Islands (Diaoyutai) are well understood, but EEZ, fisheries and territorial seas claims between Northeastern Taiwan and Japan's southernmost islands of Yonaguni Miyako and Yaeyama are also in flux. The 2003 "temporary enforcement line" agreed upon between Taiwan and Japan in waters east of Taiwan is just that, "temporary".

A China/Taiwan accommodation will leave all coastal East Asian states from Indonesia to Japan – as well as other global actors including the United States and India – facing an entirely new geopolitical context that will influence core national interests from fisheries, sea and air transportation routes, seabed resource exploitation, security and piracy cooperation, and environmental protection to naval power balances.

Taiwan's Maritime Context

One could devise an algorithm that included size of merchant fleet, shipbuilding capacity, seaport cargo tonnage, size of Coast Guard and navy, international transit of sealanes within national jurisdiction, pelagic area within its jurisdiction, and make a case that Taiwan is among the top ten maritime nations of the world. Taiwan's is the 11th largest merchant fleet, the fourth largest builder of bulk carriers by tonnage, and one of the largest Coast Guard operations in East Asia. Taiwan's Coast Guard Administration operates in about 50,000 km2 territorial and adjacent waters immediately surrounding Taiwan; 6800 km2 around Pratas Atoll (some 400 km from Taiwan), and a theoretical 2900 km2 around Taiping/Itu Aba in the Spratly chain (1200 km from Taiwan) although Coast Guard operations in Taiping are limited by Chinese maritime activities that virtually surround Taiping.

While the Taiwan Coast Guard Administration shows the Senkaku/Diaoyutai islands on maps of its area of operations (AOR), it does not list the Senkakus among the islands within its "mission areas".


The Taiwan Strait is probably the single busiest waterway on the globe – depending on how one counts. In the year ending August 15, 2002, a total of 259,086 civilian aircraft transited the Taiwan Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) while 246,015 international commercial ships transited the Taiwan Strait and the East Taiwan maritime route, for a daily average of about 675 ship transits – compared to the Dover Strait which sees a daily average of 400-500 ships over 300 tons in daily transit. About 90,000 ships pass through the Strait of Gibraltar annually ; about 50,000 ships a year pass through the Straits of Malacca. The Suez Canal processes about 55-60 transits a day while the more constricted Panama Canal manages just 40-44 transits daily. Three of the world's major container ports (Kaohsiung, Hong Kong, Shenzhen-Yantian) abut the Strait, and virtually all Japanese and South Korean fossil fuel supplies follow that route. One study done in 2002 suggested that China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan together will process 86 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) by 2010, much of which will "come from increased cross-Strait cargo," and "will account for over 40% of Asia’s total container cargo and about 20% of the world’s total container cargo" (Chinese ports alone accounted for 80 million TEUs by 2006 ).

Important or promising seabed hydrocarbon deposits are also within Taiwan's maritime jurisdiction – or claimed jurisdiction. Like China, Taiwan's "Republic of China" government persists in a broad territorial sea claim in the South China Sea which includes several potential undersea gas fields within an EEZ surrounding Itu Aba/Taiping island and surrounding Chinese-occupied islets. Itu Aba, of course, is the biggest of the South China Sea islands, and the only one with a functioning airstrip – a 1,150-meter concrete pad suited for military operations. Similarly, there are seabed hydrocarbon deposits within the EEZ surrounding Pratas Reef. China has also claimed seabed gas fields within the EEZ of Japan's Senkaku islands – a claim that Taipei articulated in 1969 – even before Beijing knew the islands were there.

Most recently, Chinese and Taiwan oil companies have signed memoranda of understanding on exploration of potential hydrocarbon deposits in the Wu-ch'iu, Nan-chih sectors along the mid-line of the Taiwan Strait.

Regardless of how one juggles the data, Taiwan is a jurisdiction of immense importance in international maritime operations and a future confederation with China will logarithmically enhance China's comprehensive maritime power.

Taiwan's Maritime Enforcement Capacity

As mentioned above, Taiwan's Coast Guard Administration (海岸巡防署) is one of Asia's most sophisticated. While the powerful legislative caucus of Taiwan's KMT party opposed defense spending during eight years when Taiwan's executive branch was controlled by the pro-independence (and hence, anti-China) Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), under constituent pressure from Taiwan's fisheries and merchant marine industries, the KMT tended to approve civilian maritime capacity-building. Taiwan's Coast Guard Administration was organized in 2000, and in 2009 the new KMT-controlled Executive Yuan announced plans for a Ministry of Ocean Affairs that seems likely to transfer significant maritime security responsibilities from the Navy to the CGA.

While such a move makes little sense in terms of enhancing Taiwan's national security vis-à-vis a Chinese military threat, it is certainly a major step in establishing Taiwan as one of the most progressive maritime jurisdictions in East Asia. The new Oceans Affairs Ministry will supervise and enforce Taiwan's maritime traffic structures, sea search and rescue, disaster relief, fisheries patrols and protection, coastal and maritime environmental conservation and protection, and counter-smuggling (including human trafficking) and anti-piracy operations.

That Taiwan's Coast Guard Administration has the capacity to operate in blue waters far from Taiwan's coastline was amply demonstrated in February 2008, when literally half of Taiwan's naval and CGA assets, including two Kidd-Class destroyers and two submarines were deployed to Itu Aba/Taiping island to provide security for the visit of then-president Chen Shui-bian to the island. Taiwan's CGA also have a 200 man contingent on Pratas reef where they perform valuable environmental protection and fisheries administration missions.

Training is a core mission for Taiwan's CGA which by all accounts is a highly professional and dedicated law enforcement instrument. In early June 2009, the CGA conducted expanded anti-terrorism exercises in Kaohsiung harbor which involved the coordination of 995 personnel, eight helicopters and a total of 37 cruisers, cutters and other ships (the CGA apparently has about 27 classes of vessels in its inventory). Similarly elaborate drills occur each year around scenarios as varied as anti-hijacking, small arms smuggling, oil spills/SAR.

One demonstration of the professional competence and morale among CGA personnel came on the evening of April 14, 2007, the CGA deployed a 40-man underwater team in waters off Kaohsiung harbor for an at-sea stakeout of a black-market diesel oil ship. Because the ship delayed its movement into the stakeout area, the 40 frogmen remained on air-tanks treading water for roughly seven hours from 1900 hrs to 0200 hrs the next morning. At one point, the underwater team commanders ordered the frogmen back to base fearing they were becoming exhausted. But the divers insisted on carrying out the mission, and successfully boarding the illegal diesel tanker and arresting 30 suspects. Taiwan's newspapers seem satisfied with the performance of the CGA judging from the lack of critical reportage – compared to cynical coverage of National Police Administration and Taiwan's military. The CGA homepage, admittedly not an unbiased observer, tabulates an impressive list of law enforcement, SAR and environmental conservation statistics.

Taiwan's CGA and customs services also participate effectively and readily in the Bush Administration's "Proliferation Security Initiative" (PSI). In August 2003, at the request of U.S. intelligence agencies, Taiwan customs and CGA at Kaohsiung port intercepted a North Korean shipment of chemical weapons precursors and missile fuel components. North Korean ships have tended to avoid Taiwan since. And the CGA has cooperated smoothly with U.S. and other agencies in maritime interdiction of North Korean narcotics smuggling operations.

The CGA's effectiveness, together with the determination of President Ma Ying-jeou's government to reduce the chance of naval confrontations with China, has persuaded Taiwan's legislature to move additional responsibilities of the Navy to the new Ocean Affairs Ministry. Ma's government will appropriate an additional US$767 million before 2017 to acquire larger vessels for the CGA. In explaining this move, President Ma said:

. . . the traditional wisdom has been 'on the sea we count on the Navy', but in protecting security on the seas, one can't rely only on the Navy, we must also rely on the policing strength of the Coast Guard.

The shift of focus of Taiwan's government toward Coast Guard capacity building and away from naval strength suggests that this will become an increasingly important policy initiative in Taiwan's ongoing rapprochement with the People's Republic on the other side of the Strait.

Taiwan's Maritime Independence

Given that Taiwan is a major East Asian maritime jurisdiction in law enforcement, environmental preservation, marine safety and transportation management, how will the island nation's impending realignment with China impact Taiwan's maritime neighbors? Will Taiwan be able to retain its international personality unchanged? Will Taiwan's place in littoral Asia be diminished partially, or eclipsed totally, by Chinese authority? Is there anything that the rest of non-China Asia can (or should) do about it?

The prospect of a reestablished China-Taiwan condominium over the entire South China Sea should give pause not only to governments of the Sea's littoral nations, but to Japan and South Korea, both of which rely on sealanes that traverse the Sea. From the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949 through at least 1988, Taiwan and China were said to have had a "tacit agreement" to reinforce each other's claims to the Sea, claims which are peculiar to them, and which seem to have no foundation in international law or the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea. Admittedly, Chinese (both ROC and PRC) South China Sea claims apparently antedate the Second World War and were asserted without reference to customary international maritime law. China formally but vaguely defined its territorial sea claims in its 1992 but its United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) accession letter deposited stated that "The People’s Republic of China reaffirms the sovereignty over all its archipelagoes and islands as listed in Article 2 of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Territorial Sea and Contiguous Zone which was promulgated on 25 February 1992." This language effectively delineated China's boundary around the entire periphery of the South China Sea and claimed all islands, atolls, reefs and rocks, as well as the claim of continental shelf exclusive economic zone rights within the boundary.

Nor can China's looming dominion over the Sea be viewed with equanimity. China's behavior in the South China Sea has a 35-year history of belligerence. The PRC used military force to seize the Paracels from South Vietnam in 1974. It seized, again with armed force, several islands in the Spratly chain controlled by the Vietnamese military in 1988. In 1992, People's Liberation Army naval (PLAN) units again seized more Spratly islets claimed by Vietnam. In 1995, the PLAN occupied Mischief Reef, claimed by the Philippines. And the PLAN has since adopted the habit of visiting as many islands, islets, rocks, reefs and sandbars in the South China Sea as it possibly can, and planting stone markers identifying them as Chinese territory. Chinese naval and maritime patrol craft still routinely board and seize non-Chinese fishing boats in those waters.

All of this is rather unsettling for ASEAN nations who in July 2003 had thought China would ease-off once it signed the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) and the attendant code of conduct under the 1992 ASEAN Declaration on the South China Sea.

Paradoxically, within the context of Chinese territorial assertions in the South China Sea, Taiwan's role has been central. Taiwan's ROC government reportedly opened up the Taiwan Strait to the transit of People's Liberation Army Naval (PLAN) warships as early as 1974 in support a Chinese attack on South Vietnamese forces on the Yongle (永乐) island group in the Paracel (西沙) islands. In March 1987, according to the PRC media, PLAN warships docked for a week at Itu Aba/Taiping Island, a ROC base, to take on food supplies during their battle with Vietnamese forces then occupying Chigua Reef (赤瓜礁); at the time, Taiwan's Defense Minister Cheng Wei-yuan (鄭為元), under orders from Taiwan's President Chiang Ching-kuo, "openly declared that if there was another war [in the Spratly chain] the Nationalist Army would assist the Liberation Army in a battle of resistance." Supposedly, as late as 1993, Taiwan military officers would not rule out cooperation with China in the "development and management" of the Spratlys.

For this reason, the PRC media in 2006 blasted Taiwan's former President Chen Shui-bian and his predecessor Lee Teng-hui for "junking the tacit understanding" that preserved Chinese sovereignty over the Spratlys (南沙). Chen Shui-bian's sin was to build a modern airstrip on Itu Aba/Taiping without consulting Beijing. China responded by menacing the island with constant PLAN surveillance as the construction commenced.

Will the Taiwan's new Ma Ying-jeou government restore that "tacit understanding" with China as part of a new peace settlement?

Two possible scenarios might help predict the degree of Taiwan's Maritime independence over the coming decade: perhaps Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou intends to effect an expeditious rapprochement with China which would reduce Taiwan's international personality to one similar to Hong Kong's and Macao's (as appears to be the case); on the other hand, perhaps Ma's ulterior motive is (having adjudged that, without firm U.S. and Japanese support and broad international approbation, Taiwan has no hope of resisting absorption by China) to delay the inevitable and to score the best deal possible with China.

If President Ma is, deep down, a Chinese nationalist bent on securing the territorial seas and sovereignty attributes of Taiwan for the great Chinese nation, then the first scenario is more likely to play out. Ma himself is a talented legal mind with an expertise in Law of the Sea. His doctoral dissertation at Harvard Law School examined the details of seabed delimitations in the East China Sea and its conclusions reflected a sympathetic eye for Chinese nationalist claims in the region and a certain antipathy toward Japan's claims. Indeed, Ma remains rather proud of his role as a student leader in nationalist demonstrations against Japan's occupation and administration of the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea following the reversion of Okinawa to Japan in 1972.

Taiwan's "Republic of China" claims to Pratas reef in the northern sector of the South China Sea, and to Itu Aba/Taiping in the Sea's far southern sector actually antedate by several decades the ROC claims to Japan's Senkaku Islands, and no doubt President Ma Ying-jeou can be counted on to reassert Chinese sovereignty there on behalf of the ROC whenever appropriate.

The question is whether Ma's government, or any future Taiwan government, will be able to administer the South China Sea islands independently of Beijing's direction following the type of "peace agreement" that Ma envisions.

In January 2008, as Ma campaigned for Taiwan's presidency, he outlined his strategy for rapprochement with China.

...the peace agreement, which will terminate the state of hostilities across the Taiwan Strait, which could last for 30 or 50 years, and which will include, critically, the confidence-building measures, particularly in the military field. And the last one … is about Taiwan’s international space ... Looking from broader terms, there is no reason for mainland China to further squeeze or suffocate Taiwan in the international community. We are not threatening them in terms of legitimacy or competing over the ruler of China ... I think that we should really sit down and think about what should be the future mode of cross-Strait relations on the diplomatic front.

One presumes, of course, that Ma's government will strive to preserve Taiwan's "international space" as he "sits down and thinks about what should be the future mode of cross-Strait relations on the diplomatic front." But if Ma's vision of cross-Strait peace involves the demilitarization of Taiwan in return for a Chinese pledge not to use military force against the island for "30 or 50" years, the terms of that trade don't logically lead to success. That is, it does not seem likely that China would agree to a 50 year limit on hostilities when Taiwan would be thoroughly defenseless after a mere 30 – if not considerably sooner – with an obsolescent navy buttressed by a modern Coast Guard responsible for Taiwan's maritime security. Certainly, Taiwan would be obliged to bow to whatever China demanded once Taiwan's defenses faded beyond any credible deterrent value.

In fact, given the current state of Taiwan's military and naval defenses, Taiwan is already hopelessly outgunned – due both to the malign neglect of Bush Administration arms sales policies and the willful obstruction of defense budgets for several years by Taiwan's former opposition parties – parties that still see no need for Taiwan's defenses if Taiwan did not intend to become independent.

In the course of negotiating a "peace agreement" with China, it is problematic whether Ma would have any leverage at all with Beijing that would permit him to secure Taiwan's independence of action in maritime affairs. Nonetheless, Taiwan's continued maritime independence is obviously in the interests of Taiwan's neighbors in East and Southeast Asia – if only to keep the real estate presently administered by Taiwan out of China's hands.

Taiwan's role in East Asian Maritime Capacity Building

Taiwan's civilian maritime administration and law enforcement infrastructure is very advanced and well-funded by Asian standards; Taiwan is a major Asian maritime power; Taiwan seeks acceptance in the Asian maritime community as a contributor to regional security, safety and rule of law. For all these reasons, Taiwan has an outsized capacity and motivation to participate in East Asian regional maritime capacity building.

Moreover, Taiwan's current maritime jurisdiction impacts quite directly – yet benignly – on virtually all other seafaring nations in the region. The high likelihood that Taiwan's maritime jurisdiction will either change dramatically or be subsumed altogether into China's sphere of influence within a matter of years, suggests that Taiwan's East Asian neighbors should begin immediately to regularize Taiwan's involvement in maritime capacity building in a context that is separate from Beijing's control.

Alas, it would have been easier for non-China Asia to do this with the previous, independence-oriented Taipei government. Had it been done then, cooperative maritime relations would have been difficult for any subsequent Taipei government to abandon. But there is still the opportunity – provided that President Ma's government is serious about the continuity of Taiwan's international personality.

Japan, for example, may want to consider formal and permanent demarcation of the "temporary enforcement lines" off Taiwan's east coast. Japan could inaugurate frequent and meaningful joint exercises – search and rescue, smuggling interdiction, and environmental disaster drills as well as joint fisheries enforcement – of the sort that two normal nations would undertake. Direct coast guard service-to-service exchanges including visits by both sides could be justified as pursuant to legitimate law enforcement or commercially-related, "non-official" interests and would be reasonably nonviolative of either side's "one China policy" (whatever they may be). Ma Ying-jeou will not be receptive to any new entente with Japan regarding the Senkaku Islands (in contrast to Chen Shui-bian or Lee Teng-hui), but Ma certainly has a vocal constituent base in Taiwan's east coast fisheries community. He would be under considerable pressure to accommodate fishermen if Japan were to pursue regularization of their status in eastern Taiwan-Ryukyuan waters.

South China Sea littoral states would also be well advised to pull Taiwan into existing regional maritime dialogues, exchanges and exercises for the same reason.

China might object, but the goal would be to integrate Taiwan into formal and regular networks of maritime interaction that hopefully would be grandfathered into any post-"peace accord" arrangements between Taipei and Beijing. The alternative is to wait until a Taiwan-China peace settlement is over . . . and negotiate with Beijing instead.




1. Ko Shu-ling, "No referendum is needed on ECFA proposal: Ma," Taipei Times, May 20, 2009, p. 1 This is not to say that Taiwan's opposition party will not put up a fight: see Lin Zhengzhong, "ECFA公投 8月完成提案連署" [ECFA referendum bill to be completed by August, DPP decisive battlefield says Tsai Ing-wen], Shijie Ribao, June 1, 2009.
2. Ko Shu-ling and Rich Chang, "Anger rises over Ma's statement on Chinese text," Taipei Times, June 11, 2009, Page 3
3. Ko Shu-ling, "Ma would consider peace talks in 2012," Taipei Times, May 12, 2009, Page 1 See also Tang Xiaomin, "馬:任內絕不協商統一" [Ma: Absolutely no Unification Consultations in his Term], Shijie Ribao, May 11, 2009, where Ma confirms that during his tenure he "doesn't rule out political consultations, that is, a peace agreement" which would last 50 or so years.
4. Cui Xiaohuo, "Ma's move paves way to meet Hu," China Daily, June 11, 2009,; Mo Yan-chih, "Pressure builds for Ma-Hu meet," Taipei Times, June 12, 2009, p. 1 at
5. For a deeper exploration of the Taiwan-Japan maritime demarcation issue see Chen Hurng-yu 陳鴻瑜"Water claims shouldn't ignore UN," Taipei Times, December 29, 2006, p. 8, at
6. At least as of 2007; see "Taiwan ships form world’s 11th largest merchant fleet in 2006: UNCTAD," Taiwan Central News Agency, December 16, 2007.
7. Different nations organize their maritime enforcement in different ways, with customs often separate from maritime navigation missions. Rather than compare apples and oranges, one may simply note that Taiwan's Coast Guard Administration employed over 15,000 officers, ranks and civilian officials including compulsory national service conscripts in 2003. Japan's coast guard, which is organized somewhat differently, claims about 12,000 employees. Indonesia's coast guard is part of its navy. And coast guard missions in some East Asian nations are simply under-resourced. According to the November 27, 2008, Manila Times, "The current force and capabilities of the 5,000-strong Philippine Coast Guard is grossly inadequate, considering we have one of the most world’s most extensive coastlines spread over 7,107 islands" (at
Schematic Maps are available at the Taiwan Coast Guard Administration website at
Taiwan Ministry
of National Defense, briefing for members of the Trilateral Dialogue Conference, PowerPoint presentation, August 26,
2002, p. 7.
U.K. Maritime and Coast Guard Agency, April 17, 2009, at
Figures for 2006; Gibraltar Port Authority, at
U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Database January 2008 at
Egyptian Maritime Data Bank for 2008 at
Panama Canal Authority for 2008, at
Ji Guoxing, "Asian Pacific SLOC Security: The China Factor," Royal Australian Navy Sea Power Centre, Working Paper No. 10, April 2002 at
"Evergreen Marine's Chairman Sees Container Market Continuing to Flourish," SeaportsPress Review, November 2, 2007, at
Shih Hsiu-chuan, Hsu Shao-hsuan and Jimmy Chuang, "President visits disputed islands," Taipei Times, February 3, 2008, p. 1, at
The Taichao and Nanridao Basin. See Jerome Cohen and Chen Yu-jie, "If all goes well Direct flights are just the start. Next comes cross-strait oil co-operation," South China Morning Post, July 10, 2008.
Rich Chang, "Ma plans ocean affairs ministry", Taipei Times, June 8, 2009, p. 1, at
For an excellent overview of the new Ministry's proposed scope of authority see Raymond Chen, "Establishing a Marine Department, Taipei Times, February 19, 2008, p. 8, at
Peter Enav, "Taiwan demilitarizes picturesque offshore islet," Associated Press, July 24, 2008, at; also author's notes from visit to Pratas, September 2006.
"Ma plans ocean affairs ministry"; see also CGA home page at巡防艦艇 for a partial list of vessels.
See for example "Coast Guard units hold exercises," Taipei Times, May 28, 2007, p. 1, at
"Coast Guard divers bust black-market oil traders in south," Taipei Times, April 16, 2007, p. 2, at
"US lauds Taiwan for confiscating perilous chemicals", Taipei Times, August 14, 2003, p. 4 at
Jay Solomon and Jason Dean, "Heroin Busts Point to Source Of Funds for North Koreans," The Wall Street Journal, April 23, 2003, at,,SB105106006946882000,00.html.
"拿起望遠鏡看反恐制伏演練但要先改變 傳統的「海洋需靠海軍」的思維,也就是維護海上的安全,不能只靠海軍,而必須靠海巡署這樣的警力." Chen Jinsheng 陳金聲, "馬總統:要設海洋部" [President Ma: We will Establish an Oceans Ministry], 聯合晚報Lianhe Bao internet edition.
A text is available at "Law on Territorial Waters, Adjacent Areas," OW2602150292 Beijing Xinhhua Domestic Service in Chinese at FBIS-CHI-92-040 28 February 1992.
Mark J. Valencia, "China and the South China Sea Disputes," ADELPHI Paper – 298, October 1995, Oxford University Press.
Michael Richardson, "Beijing has much to do to clarify its boundary claims," The Straits Times (Singapore), May 18, 2009, a version is available at
For an interesting discussion of the TAC and China's obligations, see Alan Boyd, "South China Sea Pact Won't Calm Waters," Asia Times, July 2, 2003, at
"大陸媒體轟台 挑戰共守南海默契, 台灣方面準備在太平島建機場" [PRC Media blasts Taiwan – Challenge to Tacit Understanding re Spratly Islands, Taiwan plans Airstrip on Itu Aba]. Shijie Ribao, January 7, 2006, citing a report in Xinhua's International Herald Leader (國際先驅導報
"如果再發生戰爭,國軍將助解放軍抗戰," Ibid.
"台灣國防部官員也曾表示,「不排除與大陸合作開發與管理南沙」." Ibid.
"李登輝上台後,才拋棄在維護南海諸島主權上與大陸協調一致的立場". Ibid.
Wu Mingjie 吳明杰, "太平島周邊島礁多遭佔領," [Island reefs surrounding Taiping all occupied]; Wu Mingjie 吳明杰, "國軍憂心 共艦頻現我太平島海域" [Taiwan Military Alarmed - PRC Ships Encroach on Spratly Island Waters], both in Zhongguo Shibao 中國時報, July 11, 2005.
His dissertation was edited and published in 1984 as Ying-jeou Ma, “Legal Problems of Seabed Boundary Delimitation in the East China Sea,” Occasional Papers/Reprints Series in Contemporary Asian Studies, Number 3 – 1984 (62), School of Law, University of Maryland, 1984.
"馬英九自爆 曾列黑名單" [Ma Ying-jeou admits he had been on blacklist], Shijie Ribao, December 20, 2007; Gao Chengyan高成炎, "保釣現場" [On the Scene Defending the Diaoyu Islands], Ziyou Shibao, February 12, 2008, p. 6, at Ma spoke movingly about his involvement in the "Defend Diaoyu Movement" in an interview with Voice of America. See Yan Qing 燕青, "专访国民党主席马英九全文" [Complete Transcript of Exclusive Interview with Guomindang Chairman Ma Ying-jeou], Voice of America Mandarin Service, December 29, 2005, at
Neither Chinese Communists in Beijing nor Chinese Nationalists in Taipei ever indicated any desire for the Senkaku Islands until 1969 after a United Nations Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East (UNECAFE) study noted that “The best prospect for large new petroleum discoveries are believed to be the mature and youthful continental margins off eastern Asia and off northern Asia”; cited in Ying-jeou Ma, “Seabed Delineations”, p.19 (footnote 38). The only known reference to the Senkaku Islands in the PRC media prior to 1969 is the opening sentence of an article Beijing People’s Daily commentary of June 1953, which enumerated the “Jiangezhu” (尖阁诸, pronounced "Senkaku" in Japanese) islands as part of the Ryukyu Islands. See "资料: 琉球群岛人民反对美国占领的斗争" [Reference: The struggle of the Ryukyu Archipelago people against the American occupation], Renmin Ribao 人民日报, January 8, 1953, p. 4. Maps printed in Taiwan before 1969 either failed to depict them entirely, failed to name them or included boundary delineations to the west of the islands (inferring they were in Japanese waters). Plate 18 of 中华人民共和国分省地图 (People’s Republic of China Provincial Map) of “Fujian Province, Taiwan Province” published in “秘密” (confidential) form by the 中华人民共和国国家测绘总局(Headquarters, National Surveillance Bureau), Beijing, 1969, which identifies the islands as the islands “Jiange Qundao”(尖阁群岛) – using the Chinese characters for the Japanese name “Senkaku Island Group” – rather than the Chinese name “Diaoyu” (钓鱼). “Jiange Qundao”. Another map, Zhonghua Renmin Gonghe Guo Ditu (Map of the People’s Republic of China), seventh edition, published January 1973, which depicts the islands, but identifies them only with numerical footnotes, “1” and “2”. Those footnotes are the only ones on the map, and identify the islands by their Chinese names.


For an English language version of his comments see Wendell Minnick, "Taiwan Candidate Would Seek Peace Pact With Beijing," DefenseNews, January 21, 2008.
The Pentagon's 2009 public assessment (likely somewhat rosier than its real assessment) of the balance across the Taiwan Strait reads, inter alia: "In the 2002 report, the Department of Defense assessed that Taiwan 'has enjoyed dominance of the airspace over the Taiwan Strait for many years.' This conclusion no longer holds true. With this reversal, China has been able to develop a range of limited military options to attempt to coerce Taipei." See Annual Report to Congress, the Military Power of the People's Republic of China, 2009, Office of the Secretary of Defense, March 26, 2009, p. VIII at
The current and all previous reports are available at
On May 12, 2005, Chinese Communist Party leader Hu Jintao and senior Taiwan opposition party leader, James Soong, (very nearly elected Taiwan’s president in 2000 and its vice-president in 2004), issued a “joint news communiqué” in Beijing declaring that “Military conflicts shall be effectively avoided so long as there is no possibility that Taiwan moves toward ‘Taiwan independence’.” “胡錦濤與宋楚瑜會談達成六項共識” [Hu Jintao and Song Chuyu reach a six-item consensus], Renmin Wang [People’s Daily Net], Beijing, May, 12, 2005. See also “No ‘Taiwan independence’, no military conflicts: communiqué”, Xinhua news agency, Beijing, May 12, 2005, at See also “宋楚瑜:兩岸不必提軍事互信機制在兩岸菁英論壇倡議「建立經濟互信機制」 賈慶林提四點合作建議”, [James Soong: Two sides do not need military mutual confidence mechanism, Calls for ‘establishment of economic mutual confidence mechanism,’ Jia Qinglin proposes four point cooperation agreement], New York Shijie Ribao (in Chinese), September 16, 2005; see also “台商促宋贊成軍購換直航當著國台辦官員的面 提問尖銳”, [Taiwan Businessmen Urge James Soong to trade Arms Budget for Direct Links, Slap in Face to Taiwan Affairs Officials, Questions Sharp], New York Shijie Ribao (In Chinese), September 16, 2005. P.2.  





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