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Taiwan President told: Cool it

/ 07:09 AM January 29, 2016
Ma Ying-jeou

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou. AP FILE PHOTO

The Philippines on Thursday asked Taiwan to avoid actions that will spark tension in the region after Taiwan’s President Ma Ying­jeou flew to a contested island in the South China Sea.

“We remind all parties concerned of our shared responsibility to refrain from actions that can increase tension in the South China Sea,” Department of Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Charles Jose said in a text message.

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Jose gave the statement when asked for his reaction to the visit of Taiwan’s president to Taiping island, also known as Itu Aba.

Itu Aba is regarded by Manila as within the West Philippine Sea, which also includes the Luzon Sea and the sea around Scarborough Shoal.

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Ma left the Taiwan capital of Taipei early Thursday aboard an Air Force C­130 cargo plane bound for Itu Aba.

The United States earlier criticized the action of Ma. US Department of State spokesperson Mark Toner said Washington was disappointed by Ma’s plan to travel to the Taiping as it could exacerbate tensions in the South China Sea.

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TAGS: South China Sea, Taiwan, Taiwan’s President Ma Ying­jeou, West Philippine Sea
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