Taiwan thanks China for condemning PH over fisherman's death


Posted at May 17 2013 11:18 AM | Updated as of May 17 2013 07:18 PM

TAIPEI - Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council responsible for relations with China Thursday urged Beijing to stay out of the row the island has with the Philippines over the shooting death of a Taiwanese fisherman by the Philippine coast guard in the South China Sea.

The council thanked Beijing for condemning Manila's behavior, which the council described as "belligerent, irrational and violates international law."

However, the council said Taiwan finds it unacceptable that the Philippines negotiates the matter through China and it believes China will understand and respect Taiwan's wishes that it should not interfere in a dispute between Taiwan and a third party.

It urged all parties involved not to confuse the People's Republic of China with the Republic of China -- Taiwan's official name.

In Taiwan's view, "one China" refers to the Republic of China. However, China defines "one China" as the People's Republic of China, which regards Taiwan as a breakaway province.

Mainland China and Taiwan have been governed separately since they split amid a civil war in 1949.

Beijing has vowed to use military force if Taiwan formally declares independence or if all possibilities of peaceful reunification fall.

The council issued the statement after a legislative committee passed a motion proposed by legislators of the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party earlier Thursday requesting the council make clear Taiwan's position and urge China to stay out of the dispute between the island and the Philippines.

Meanwhile, Taiwan Premier Jiang Yi-huah on Thursday called on the Taiwanese public to avoid hostility toward Philippine workers on the island.

Jiang said that although the Taiwan government is tough with the Philippine government, it will do its best to ensure the safety of the Filipinos.