With regard to the South China Sea, which has been in the international spotlight of late, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China (Taiwan) reiterates its position as follows:

1. Whether from the perspectives of history, geography, or international law, the Nansha (Spratly) Islands, Shisha (Paracel) Islands, Chungsha Islands (Macclesfield Bank), and Tungsha (Pratas) Islands, as well as their surrounding waters, are an inherent part of ROC territory and waters. As the ROC enjoys all rights to these island groups and their surrounding waters in accordance with international law, the ROC government does not recognize any claim to sovereignty over, or occupation of, these areas by other countries, irrespective of the reasons put forward or methods used for such claim or occupation.

2. The South China Sea islands were first discovered, named, and used, as well as incorporated into national territory by the Chinese. In 1938 and 1939, Japan illegally occupied the Tungsha (Pratas), Shisha (Paracel), and Nansha (Spratly) Islands. On March 30, 1939, Japan integrated what it called “Shinnan Gunto” (comprising some of the Nansha (Spratly) Islands) into Takao Prefecture (today known as Kaohsiung City) through Announcement No. 122 of the Taiwan Governor-General’s Office. In 1946, following World War II, the ROC government reclaimed the Tungsha (Pratas), Shisha (Paracel), and Nansha (Spratly) Islands, erecting stone markers on major islands and garrisoning some. In December 1947 it issued the revised names of the South China Sea islands and the Location Map of the South China Sea Islands, which delineate the scope of ROC territory and waters in the region. Furthermore, the San Francisco Peace Treaty, which entered into effect on April 28, 1952, as well as the Treaty of Peace between the ROC and Japan which was signed that same day, together with other international legal instruments, reconfirmed that the islands and reefs in the South China Sea occupied by Japan should be returned to the ROC. In the several decades since, the fact that the ROC owns and exercises effective control over these islands has been recognized by foreign governments and international organizations.

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