The proposal, named the South China Sea Peace Initiative, was announced by Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou, who called on all parties to temporarily put off their disagreements over the territorial claims in the sea and try to find common ground.
"We demand that freedom of navigation and overflight be respected in the South China Sea," Ma said, stressing the importance of a peaceful resolution "before a major conflict breaks out," as cited by the Japan Times.
Last week, it was reported that the United States was trying to incite several nations in the region to gang up on China over the territorial disputes in the South China Sea.
China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, Brunei and the Philippines all have overlapping claims in the South China Sea, making the region Asia's potentially most dangerous point of conflict. China, the biggest and most influential player in the region, aims to convert about 80 percent of the South China Sea into its territorial waters. However, other countries in the Asia-Pacific not only challenge the Chinese claims, but also want to assert their own territorial ambitions.
- No. They are entirely appropriate given China’s increasingly assertive claims12.0% (369)
- Yes. Such actions are irresponsible, dangerous and detrimental to regional peace and stability68.6% (2102)
- Both countries are acting provocative turning the South China Sea into a region of great power competition19.4% (594)
China already expressed its concern about the US' actions. Hua Chunying, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said the United States should avoid "risky and provocative approaches to maintain the regional peace and stability," as cited by AP.
Taiwanese president said the peace initiative is not designed to serve either Chinese or American interests, but instead is built to find middle ground for all the parties involved.