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  • China's ADIZ demarcation unhelpful to ties with Taiwan: president Ma

    Taipei, Dec. 5 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou on Thursday criticized China's unilateral declaration of an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) as "unhelpful" to the development of bilateral relations, adding that Taiwan was not consulted prior to the demarcation.

    China's ADIZ overlaps with Taiwan's for about 23,000 square kilometers and covers the disputed Diaoyutai Islands, which Taiwan claims, Ma said at a meeting with James B. Steinberg, former U.S. deputy Secretary of State, who is visiting Taiwan.

    "We have made a point to express that the other side of the Taiwan Strait (China) did not consult with us prior to demarcation. Such a move has not been helpful to cross-strait relations," Ma said.

    Taiwan's Air Force patrols and training operations "fall within our ADIZ and will not be affected by (mainland China)'s move."

    The president noted that China's demarcation of ADIZ, announced on Nov. 23, has brought great concerns of the region, and that U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, currently on his second leg of Asian trip in China, also exchanged views with Chinese leaders on the issue, according to the Presidential Office.

    Taiwan issued a statement after China's ADIZ move to reaffirm Taiwan's claim to the Diaoyutais, which are administered by Japan as the Senkaku Islands, and to push for an East China Sea Peace Initiative -- Ma's proposal to shelve disputes and find a peaceful resolution to territorial rifts.

    The president called on neighboring countries to conduct bilateral consultations on the overlapping areas with China and solve problems peacefully.

    Steinberg, who arrived in Taiwan Wednesday for a three-day visit, has said Taiwan's call for dialogue to address tensions over territorial disputes is welcomed.

    (By Lee Shu-hua and Lilian Wu)