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《TAIPEI TIMES》 Japan, S Korea ministers highlight stability in Strait

Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Yoko Kamikawa, left, and Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi shake hands during their bilateral meeting in Busan, South Korea, on Saturday.
Photo: Kyodo News via AP

Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Yoko Kamikawa, left, and Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi shake hands during their bilateral meeting in Busan, South Korea, on Saturday. Photo: Kyodo News via AP

2023/11/27 03:00

LEGAL TRANSIT: Washington asserted its navigational rights in the South China Sea after Beijing sent its forces to ‘track, monitor, warn and drive away’ a US 7th Fleet ship

By Liu Tzu-hsuan / Staff reporter

Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Yoko Kamikawa and South Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs Park Jin underlined the importance of stability in the Taiwan Strait during separate meetings with Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅).

Kamikawa and Wang met for about 100 minutes in Busan, South Korea, where they attended a trilateral summit over the weekend, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Saturday.

Wang urged Japan to “keep its commitments” on the Taiwan issue — to “earnestly abide by the ‘one China’ principle” and refrain from interfering in China’s internal affairs, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a news release.

Japan’s position on Taiwan remains unchanged, the Chinese news release said, while the Japanese statement said that Kamikawa stated the importance of cross-strait peace and stability.

Kamikawa expressed “serious concerns” about China’s increased military activities around Japan, her ministry said, adding that the two leaders agreed to hold a bilateral security dialogue as soon as possible.

Yesterday morning, Wang told Jin that the Taiwan issue is a “core interest” of China, the Central News Agency reported.

South Korea maintains its position of opposing use of force to change the “status quo” and emphasizing the importance of stability in the Taiwan Strait, it reported.

In Taipei, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday “sincerely welcomed and thanked” Kamikawa and Jin for supporting cross-strait peace and stability.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, as well as other senior officials from both sides, have reiterated concerns and support for the cross-strait situation at international events, the ministry said, adding that Taiwan would continue working with them and other like-minded countries to safeguard a peaceful and open Indo-Pacific region.

In other developments, the US Navy asserted its navigational rights and freedoms in the South China Sea, and challenged restrictions on innocent passage imposed by Taiwan, China and Vietnam.

The recent activities of the US 7th Fleet’s USS Hopper in the South China Sea and near the Paracel Islands (Xisha Islands, 西沙群島) have angered Beijing, which sent naval and air forces to “track, monitor, warn and drive away” the US ship, Tian Junli (田軍里), spokesman for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s Southern Theater Command, said on Saturday.

Later on the same day, the 7th Fleet issued a statement saying that the destroyer “asserted navigational rights and freedoms” in the area, which is “consistent with international law.”

The operation “upheld the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of the sea recognized in international law by challenging restrictions on innocent passage imposed by the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, and Vietnam,” the statement said.

Claiming sovereignty over the Paracel Islands and asking permission to conduct innocent passage through their territorial sea contravenes international law, it said.

新聞來源:TAIPEI TIMES

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