TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan’s president will propose a peace initiative on Tuesday to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea that have put Beijing at odds with its neighbors and with the United States, the official Central News Agency reported.
It said President Ma Ying-jeou’s plan would be along the lines of his 2012 proposal for the East China Sea, which called on claimants to temporarily shelve their disagreements to enable negotiations on resource-sharing.
Taiwan has so far played a marginal role in tackling the series of disputes between China and its neighbors in the South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year.
Under Ma’s plan, to be presented in a speech to a law forum, it will “actively participate in the relevant mechanisms for dialogue and cooperation to actively safeguard regional peace and development”, the news agency said.
China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei all have overlapping claims in the South China Sea. China said on Monday it had lodged a complaint with the United States over a U.S. spy plane that flew over parts of the sea.
The rival claims by Taiwan and China go back to before they split in a civil war in 1949 after the defeated Nationalists fled to the island from the Communists.
Ma is scheduled to give the keynote address at a forum sponsored by the International Law Association and the American Society of International Law at around 0120 GMT.
Reporting by J.R. Wu; Editing by Mark Trevelyan