Commemorating Taiwan's Commitment to Peace

Floor Speech

By:  David Rivera
Date: Sept. 21, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. RIVERA. Mr. Speaker, as a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I rise today to draw attention to the increasing conflict in the East China Sea and to reiterate the necessity to remain involved in the region given the growing security threats and challenges to U.S. interests.

In light of the latest controversies in the East China Sea and the Diaoyutai Islands, President Ma Ying-jeou of the Republic of China (Taiwan) proposed the East China Sea Peace Initiative in August 2012, which calls on the People's Republic of China, Japan, and Taiwan to resolve the Diaoyutai dispute peacefully.
With respect to the Diaoyutai issue, the government of Taiwan has consistently affirmed its position of ``safeguarding sovereignty, shelving disputes, pursuing peace and reciprocity, and promoting joint exploration and development.''
The Diaoyutai Islands are located in the East China Sea, which is an important air and sea transportation hub in the western Pacific, and therefore have clear significance for security and peace in the Asia-Pacific region.

In order to foster regional peace and stability, economic prosperity and the sustainable development of the marine environment, as well as to seek out a path to coexistence and mutual prosperity, the government of Taiwan proposes the East China Sea Peace Initiative and calls on all parties concerned to:

1. Refrain from taking any antagonistic actions;
2. Shelve controversies and not abandon dialogue;
3. Observe international law and resolve disputes through peaceful means;
4. Seek consensus on a code of conduct in the East China Sea;
5. Establish a mechanism for cooperation on exploring and developing resources in the East China Sea.

I believe we must stand with Taiwan, an ally that shares our values of freedom and democracy. I commend the peace initiative proposed by President Ma and recognize Taiwan government's efforts in promoting peace and stability in East Asia.