After KMT Chairman Wu Po-hsiung played down Taiwan’s sovereignty in talks with China, refusing to call Ma Ying-jeou “President,” and referring to Taiwan as “Chinese Taipei” — along with referring to people on both sides of the Strait as “Chinese” — the KMT news network reported today that the Foreign Ministry had asserted the sovereignty of the ROC over the Tiaoyutai Islands after the incident the other day involving a Japanese frigate colliding with a Taiwanese fishing boat.

The Foreign Ministry also issued a press release, emphasizing, “The Government of the Republic of China has always held the stance that the Tiaoyutai Isles belong to the Republic of China. The resolution to safeguard its sovereignty is indisputable and will not change.”

Chen Lih-torng, director of the Institute of the Law of the Sea at the National Taiwan Ocean University, yesterday demanded that the government change its approach to reassert sovereignty over Tiaoyutai Isles; it should not simply say “to shelve disputes over sovereignty.” Instead, the government should skillfully demonstrate its jurisdiction and ability to enforce laws. For example, he said that, the ROC government should ask Japan to return to the negotiating table immediately, and it should, at the same time, also dispatch frigates to patrol the waters within the 12 miles off the Tiaoyutai Isles so as to reassert ROC sovereignty.