TAIPEH, July 18 (dpa): Taiwan should be a participant in any multilateral negotiations regarding territorial claims in the South China Sea, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman ssaid on Saturday.
"Taiwan should be included in multilateral dispute resolution mechanisms," Joanne Ou says, adding that Taiwan has "indisputable" claims in the region.
The comments come after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slammed as "unlawful" China's claims to almost the entire South China Sea, a key shipping lane believed to be rich in marine and mineral resources.
China has built artificial islands with military-capable facilities over disputed reefs and outcrops in the area, which is also claimed by Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan.
Meanwhile, Vietnam on Saturday has welcomed comments from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who said China’s aggressive territorial claims in the South China Sea are unlawful, Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
"As Beijing has failed to put forth a lawful, coherent maritime claim in the South China Sea, the United States rejects any PRC [People’s Republic of China] claim to waters beyond a 12 nautical mile territorial sea derived from islands it claims in the Spratly Islands," Pompeo said in a press statement on Monday.
Pompeo added that any action carried out by China in waters beyond its 12-nautical-mile territory, including fishing or hydrocarbon development, is unlawful.
On Tuesday, David Stilwell, assistant secretary of state for East Asia, went even further, saying the US could impose sanctions on China for unlawful actions in the region. In response, China said it was not afraid.
Vietnamese ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang supports the US position on the escalating tensions.
"Vietnam welcomes the position of other countries on the South China Sea issue that are in line with international law, as stated at the 36th ASEAN Summit - the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea is a legal framework governing all activities at sea, ” she said.
Beijing claims almost all of the South China Sea as its territory and has built artificial islands with military-capable facilities over reefs and outcrops in the area, which is also claimed in part by Vietnam. - dpa
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