Without A Shadow of the Doubt

Taiwan, China, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei!

Yes, these are all countries of Asia, but what else do they all have in common other than refugees residing in this island?  (Inside joke!)  They are all on a tug-of-war on claiming the islands, Nansha, Jhongsha ( aka: Macclesfield Bank Islands), Dongsha (aka: Pratas Island, or Tongsha Island) and Paracel (aka: Hsisha)!!

In accordance to the Executive Yuan‘s Policy Guidelines for the South China Sea of 1993, they have kept peaceful relations and talks with other countries on the matter.  Since the guideline, the government has pursued a policy of shifting authority from the military to civilian authorities over the Tungsha and Taiping Islands.

Taiwan and its many off-shore islands.

Taiwan and its many off-shore islands.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) stated that Taiwan’s sovereignty claim is beyond a shadow of the doubt and challenge, stressing that all for groups of islands (located within the South China Sea),  and their surrounding waters, are all of Taiwanese territories.

MOFA spokeswoman Phoebe Yeh (葉非比) comments, “Whether based on history, geography, international law or fact, the Republic of China has sovereignty over the islands.”

The statement was in continuance to the two chambers of the Philippine legislature, the Senate and House of Representatives passed the bills on January 28th and February 2nd, to annex the Spratly Islands and Jhongsha Islands as part of the Philippines’ territory.

The dispute was flamed by events on the completion of Taiwan’s airstrip on Taiping Island. Since the construction, both the Philippines and Vietnam have voiced their concerns.

Map of the Spratly Islands, located in the South China Sea.

Map of the Spratly Islands (aka: Itu Aba Islands, Taiping Islands), located in the South China Sea.

The MOFA continued in the dispute that the ROC government will not recognize any countries’ move in occupying or claiming sovereignty over any of the four island groups.

>>>A recommended and interesting read to further understand Taiwan’s state and how/why this is all happening – with a look at Japan.  “Why the Pacific Island Countries are important to Japan?”  <<<

The Spratlys are recognized for its 180 barren islets, reefs and atolls, dotting the global busiest shipping lanes, in the South China Sea.  The countries in debate (Vietnam, China, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei), each claim the islands, believed to be rich in oil, gas and fishery resources.  This may be as to the reason to the dispute in the first place.  (Please refer to the Diaoyutai Islands.)

>>>Please refer through this hyper-linked text for a site, more on the “Civil Warwhich refers to the battles of the islands referred to in this article. (In related: The native Taiwanese (85% of the population of the island) had nothing to do with the Civil War in China) <<<

Gas field map of the South China sea, the underlying cause to all the territorial debate (next to fishing and agricultural rights).

Gas field map of the South China sea, the underlying cause to all the territorial debate (next to fishing and agricultural rights).

For the history-buffs in you, below, I’ve taken the liberty of roughly quoting from a book, provided by google.   According to the book titled, “CHINESE Warfighting” under the section, “Four Islands, 1953” reads:

“Four islands” refers to Dalushan, Xiaolushan, Yangu, and Jiguanshan…

“… Taiwan forces occupied the islands in November 1952.  Mrom May 29 through June 21, 1953, the PLA Navy and the National Navy engaged in several battles that ended with the retreat of the Nationalists.

“On May 29, 1953, the PLA Navy assisted the landing of five battalions of PLA troups.  They quickly seized the four islands…  …there were no Nationalist naval forces in the area…  Three weeks later, on June 19, the Taiwan Navy…  …regained control of the four islands.

“…November 1954 incident, four PLA Navy torpedo boats attacked the single Nationalist frigate Taiping.

“…in April 1950, the Taiwan government had decided to withdrew its forces from the Zhoushan Islands as prt of an overall consolidation of the defense of Taiwan.  This left the Taizhou Islands as Taiwan’s northern-most outpost and its sole stronghold off the Zhejiang coast.

“…the1954-55 Taiwan Straight crisis involving the United States…  begining January 10, 1955, ended with the occupation of Yijiangshan ten days later.

“The PRC launched a massive artillery bombardment against Jinmen Island on August 23, 1958.  …Mao Zedong later received the PLA navy officers who participated in the sea battle…  …in wordplay on a Chinese idiom praised their tactics as ‘at sea, ants gnawing at a bone.”

“August 6, the Taiwan Navy decided to step up its activities and tried to draw the PLA Navy into another battle.  On November 13, 1965, the Taiwan dispatched two ships from its Penghu Islands base to Quqiu (Wuchiou) Island, locagted between the two Taiwan strong holds of Jinmen and Mazu…

“After thirty minutes of fierce battle,t he Yongtai disengaged and rushed to Wuqiu Island.  The Yongchang continued maneuvering and struggled for another hour, but finally was sunk by several torpedos.

“The Xisha (Paracel) Islands are located in the South China Sea roughly equidistant from Hainan and the Vietnamese coast.  On January 15, 1974, the South Vietnam Navy sent destroyers…  The combat lasted less than two hours and resulted in the defeat of the South Vietnamese forces…  seizure of the western islets of the group.

“After the Vietnam War, the newly unified Vietnam continued its claim of sovereignty over the Xishas.  In April 1979, just after the Sino-Vietnamese border war, the Vietnam Navy disptched three ships to the Xishas for surveillance.  They were quickly interdicted and captured by PLA Navy ships…  Since then, Vietnam has not challenged…  sovereignty over the Xishas.

“China initiated air reconnaissance and sea patrols in the vicinity of various Nansha (Spratly) Islands, in the far southern area of the South China Sea, in the early 1980s.  Chinese forces encountered Vietnamese forces on several occassions but no combat occurred until 1988.

“The three Chinese frigates…  sank both…  Vietnamese transport ship and the landing ship, and damaged the other transport ship.  The battle lasted less than thirty minutes.    This was the third time the PLA Navy had decisively defeated a Vietnamese naval force and there is no question that the PRC has the strongest naval force among the claimants to the Nansha Islands.  “

~ by Lan on 2008 Thu+00:002009-02-05T15:03:28+00:00. 15.

One Response to “Without A Shadow of the Doubt”

  1. Really good post! Always learning something new when reading your posts.

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