Friday, January 04, 2013

Taiwan seeking dialogue with Asian neighbors

Taiwan should actively seek dialogue with neighboring countries as tensions in East Asia are escalating over territorial disputes, the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said Thursday.

Joseph Wu, head of the DPP's policy coordination department who served as Taiwan's top representative to the United States during the DPP administration, said Taiwan should strive to take part in future multilateral dialogue on formulating a code of conduct for the South China Sea and East China Sea region.

Even if Taiwan is denied access to multilateral dialogue on the South China Sea issue, it should seek to hold bilateral dialogue with each neighboring country with competing territorial claims, said Wu.

Otherwise, Wu said, the international community might perceive that Taiwan is on the same side with China on the issues.

Meanwhile, local media reports said the Diaoyutai Island spat among Taiwan, China and Japan may provide a new opportunity for closer U.S.-Japan strategic cooperation.

The reports also said U.S. arms sales to Asia is expected to boom in the years to come amid growing regional security jitters and as a result of Washington's "pivot to Asia" policy.

The following are local media coverage of the latest developments in regional security situation:

China Times:

A Reuters report said the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), a trade group that comprises top U.S. arms producers, has forecast a significant growth in Asia-Pacific countries' demand for costly U.S.-built weapons.

The AIA attributed the growing demand for U.S. warplanes, anti-missile system and other advanced weapons mainly to China's disputes with neighboring countries over tiny islands in the East China Sea and the South China Sea as well as North Korea's development of nuclear arms and ballistic missiles, according to the Reuters report.

The report said U.S. arms sales to Asia-Pacific allies posted a 5.4 percent year-on-year increase to US$13.7 billion in 2012.

Political experts said Southeast Asian countries' defense budgets have continued to increase steadily and that the election of conservative and pro-U.S. leaders in Japan and South Korea late last year is also expected to help boost U.S. arms sales to the region.

Meanwhile, some local analysts said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will bring with him a comprehensive plan to enhance Tokyo-Washington strategic cooperation during his upcoming visit to the United States.

They said Abe will pledge full support for the Obama administration's "Pivot to Asia" policy in exchange for its aid in Japan's spat with China over the Diaoyutais.

The Diaoyutai Islands in the East China Sea has been under Japan's administrative control since 1972, but is also claimed by Taiwan and China.

Local observers said the new Japanese government is determined to make the Diaoyutai dispute as a new start for closer strategic and defense cooperation with the U.S.

Japan also intends to prop up its declining international status through strengthened strategic partnership with the U.S., political analysts noted.

In another news development, Taiwan's military reportedly will start mass-production of a local version of a joint standoff weapon (JSOW) next year.

JSOW is a type of precision guided bomb. According to ruling Kuomintang Legislator Lin Yu-fang, the JSOW developed by the military-run Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology will be carried as the payload of the locally built IDF jet fighter. (Jan. 3, 2013).

United Daily News:

China has made progress in development of advanced anti-submarine patrol aircraft, according to online media reports.

China's military authorities are allegedly using the Internet to leak information about its progress in anti-submarine aircraft research and development.

Latest online reports said China's new Gaoxin 6 anti-submarine aircraft is eqtest online reports said China's new Gaoxin 6 anti-submarine aircraft is equal or even outpaces the United States' P-3 anti-submarine plane in functions.-Focus Taiwan (January 04, 2013)

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