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  • U.S. think tank backs East China Sea peace initiative: envoy

    New York, Jan. 25 (CNA) Scholars at a think tank in the United States are supportive of President Ma Ying-jeou's proposal of a peace initiative to deal with the territorial dispute in the East China Sea, according to Taiwan's new representative to the U.S. King Pu-tsung.

    During a visit to the National Committee on American Foreign Policy in New York on Friday, King said the scholars there agree that all parties involved in the territorial row should shelve their disputes, maintain dialogue, and establish a mechanism for joint exploration of resources near the Diaoyutai Islands, as Ma has proposed.

    Located some 100 nautical miles northeast of Taiwan, the island chain has been under Japan's administrative control since 1972, but is also claimed by Taiwan and China.

    King said the U.S. scholars basically hold the same view as President Ma, who wishes to maintain regional peace, avoid conflicts, and reduce risks.

    In an interview with the Wall Street Journal and Agence France-Presse, King also explained the motives of a Taiwanese fishing boat that attempted to land on the island chain Jan. 24 but was deterred by Japanese authorities.

    The attempt represented Taiwan's latest bid to uphold its sovereignty over the Diaoyutais.

    Later, during a visit to the Chinese Community Center of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, he told a group of more than 1,000 Taiwanese expatriates that U.S.-Taiwan ties have been the closest in 30 years, partly because of President Ma's low-keyed, practical, and "zero-accident" diplomatic approach.

    Territorial disputes over the Diaoyutais have escalated since the Japanese government bought three of the islets in the chain from their private owner last September in a bid to highlight Japan's sovereignty claim.

    (By Leaf Chiang and Ann Chen)
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