Taipei, March 17 (CNA) The Republic of China (Taiwan) Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has declared that no code of conduct in the South China Sea will be binding on Taiwan if it is cast out of the negotiations and dialogues aimed at creating a set of rules to avoid conflict among rival claimants in the waters.
The declaration was made Friday in response to what the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose had told CNA, that all member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) adhere to the "one China" policy.
As a result, regarding Taiwan's claims in the South China Sea, the ASEAN sees China as the representative in negotiations concerning the claims, Jose said.
The MOFA said being a country with independent sovereignty, it is beyond doubt that the ROC enjoys the rights stipulated in international law and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea regarding its claims in the South China Sea.
The ministry reiterated the ROC's stance that disputes in the South China Sea should be resolved through a multilateral dispute-resolution mechanism peacefully under the principles of shelving disputes and pursuing joint development.
On the basis of consultation on an equal footing, "the ROC is willing to promote the peace and stability of the South China area jointly with the countries concerned, and safeguard the freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea," the MOFA said.
The Philippines, the ASEAN's rotating chair for this year, plays the leading role in organizing a series of ASEAN meetings in 2017, including those for talks aimed at crafting a framework for a code of conduct in the South China Sea.
The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs has said that under the current international situation, it is difficult for Taiwan to join the negotiations or dialogues.
The department said last month that the ASEAN and China "are working very hard" to beat their self-imposed deadline for the framework to be developed.
(By Scarlett Cai and Elizabeth Hsu)