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July 14, 2016

UN tribunal dismisses Chinese claims to South China Sea

UN tribunal dismisses Chinese claims to South China Sea

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

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Image: Nzeemin, NordNordWest.

On Tuesday, a United Nations (UN) tribunal in The Hague dismissed China‘s sovereignty claims to the South China Sea, a body of water connecting to the Pacific Ocean which is also bordered by the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Indonesia. Court battles over the claims between China and the Philippines go back to 2013.

These claims were established by China during the reign of its Nationalist government in the 1940s, marked by a demarcation line nicknamed its Nine-dash line. Its line stretched hundreds of miles from the Chinese mainland, including about nine tenths of the entire sea. The South China Sea is a valuable property, providing passage for about US$5 trillion in trade by planes and boats every year. China is not the only country to claim large parts of the sea; notably, Taiwan and Vietnam have also done so, but other large-scale claimants have been less militarily active about their claims than China.

China has built several artificial islands and military bases in the South China Sea. The tribunal scolded the impeding of fishing and exploration in the sea by China, which it deemed against the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), signed by China in 1982. The tribunal also concluded China knowingly permitted the poaching of endangered turtles and clams as well as destroyed coral reefs to construct artificial islands.

UNCLOS permits countries to claim a 200-nautical mile area from their mainland, referred to as an exclusive economic zone. It also permits freedom of navigation, allowing unimpeded exploration through “high seas”: international waters also available for the use of fishing and trade passages.

There is no process to enforce the decision. UNCLOS allows countries to exclude themselves from “compulsory binding procedures for the settlement of disputes” as defined in Part XV, Section 3 – Article 298. China exercised this right to exclude themselves from compulsory binding procedures on August 25, 2006. They reject the jurisdiction or authority of the tribunal’s findings. Various other countries have also exercised Article 298 partially or fully, such as Australia, Canada, the UK, Russia, and France.

Many nations made statements after the decision. The Chinese government opposed the decision, calling it “ill-founded”. It said “China neither accepts nor recognizes” the decision. The Philippine government referred to the decision as a “milestone decision”. The US, a key ally with many of the countries claiming parts of the sea, said it was an “important contribution to the shared goal of a peaceful resolution to disputes in the South China Sea”.



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February 6, 2016

Magnitude 6.4 earthquake hits southern Taiwan

Magnitude 6.4 earthquake hits southern Taiwan

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Saturday, February 6, 2016

USGS shakemap of 2016 Kaohsiung earthquake

A magnitude 6.4 earthquake hit southern Taiwan around 4:00am today local time (2000 yesterday UTC) southeast of Tainan, a city with about two million people, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). By various reports, as many as thirteen or fourteen people may have died, more than 100 may be missing, and Associated Press put the injured at well over 400.

The seism was reported by the USGS initially with a magnitude of 6.7. Several buildings collapsed in Tainan including a 17-story residential building. Emergency services said they had rescued over 200 people, many of whom were hospitalized. At least five aftershocks are reported.

The island of Taiwan lies in the Ring of Fire, a seismically active zone, near where two tectonic plates meet. In 1999 a magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck the center of Taiwan leaving more than 2,000 dead.



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January 17, 2016

Taiwan elects Tsai Ing-wen as first female president

Taiwan elects Tsai Ing-wen as first female president

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Sunday, January 17, 2016

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Image: Chen Chun Lin.

As voting ended in the Taiwanese presidential election Saturday, vote counts suggested that leader of the Democratic Progressive Party Tsai Ing-Wen has won the election. The official results of the election are yet to be disclosed.

Tsai is to become the first female president ever elected in Taiwan, and the second ever president from the Democratic Progressive Party. Historically, Taiwan has been ruled by the Kuomintang Party.

The leader of the Kuomintang, former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu, conceded defeat in a speech, congratulating Tsai for being elected, and resigned. The election may herald the first time his party is to lose the majority of seats in the legislature. Incumbent president Ma Ying-Jeou is to step down after his two terms when Tsai takes office on May 20.

The Democratic Progressive Party, led by Tsai, supports making Taiwan independent from mainland China, while the Kuomintang supports eventually reunifying Taiwan with China. Since the Kuomintang lost mainland China to the Communist Party of China as the Chinese civil war ended in 1949, the two sides have been ruled under separate governments; both claim the entirety of China as their territory, neither one accepting the other’s claims.

The Chinese government sees Taiwan as part of its territory, and claims that the island can be taken back through ready-to-launch missiles if necessary.

Tsai said that she will maintain affairs between Taiwan and mainland China as how it is in its current state. It must be ensured that “no provocations or accidents” occur between Taiwan and mainland China, she said. “I also want to emphasise that both sides of the Taiwanese Strait have a responsibility to find mutually acceptable means of interaction that are based on dignity and reciprocity.”



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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Taiwanese voters elect Tsai Ing-wen as first female president

Taiwanese voters elect Tsai Ing-wen as first female president

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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Taiwan
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Location of Taiwan

A map showing the location of Taiwan

To write, edit, start or view other articles on Taiwan, see the Taiwan Portal
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A file photo of Tsai Ing Wen.
Image: Chen Chun Lin.

As voting ended in the Taiwanese presidential election Saturday, vote counts suggested that leader of the Democratic Progressive Party Tsai Ing-Wen has won the election. The official results of the election are yet to be disclosed.

Tsai is to become the first female president ever elected in Taiwan, and the second ever president from the Democratic Progressive Party. Historically, Taiwan has been ruled by the Kuomintang Party.

The leader of the Kuomintang, former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu, conceded defeat in a speech, congratulating Tsai for being elected, and resigned. The election may herald the first time his party is to lose the majority of seats in the legislature. Incumbent president Ma Ying-Jeou is to step down after his two terms when Tsai takes office on May 20.

The Democratic Progressive Party, led by Tsai, supports making Taiwan independent from mainland China, while the Kuomintang supports eventually reunifying Taiwan with China. Since the Kuomintang lost mainland China to the Communist Party of China as the Chinese civil war ended in 1949, the two sides have been ruled under separate governments; both claim the entirety of China as their territory, neither one accepting the other’s claims.

The Chinese government sees Taiwan as part of its territory, and claims that the island can be taken back through ready-to-launch missiles if necessary.

Tsai said that she will maintain affairs between Taiwan and mainland China as how it is in its current state. It must be ensured that “no provocations or accidents” occur between Taiwan and mainland China, she said. “I also want to emphasise that both sides of the Taiwanese Strait have a responsibility to find mutually acceptable means of interaction that are based on dignity and reciprocity.”



Sources[]

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Taiwanese voters elect Democratic Progressive Party leader Tsai Ing-wen as president

Taiwanese voters elect Democratic Progressive Party leader Tsai Ing-wen as president

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Sunday, January 17, 2016

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A file photo of Tsai Ing Wen.
Image: Chen Chun Lin.

As voting ended in the Taiwanese presidential election Saturday, vote counts suggested that leader of the Democratic Progressive Party Tsai Ing-Wen has won the election. The official results of the election are yet to be disclosed.

Tsai is to become the first female president ever elected in Taiwan, and the second ever president from the Democratic Progressive Party. Historically, Taiwan has been ruled by the Kuomintang Party.

The leader of the Kuomintang, former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu, conceded defeat in a speech, congratulating Tsai for being elected, and resigned. The election may herald the first time his party is to lose the majority of seats in the legislature. Incumbent president Ma Ying-Jeou is to step down after his two terms when Tsai takes office on May 20.

The Democratic Progressive Party, led by Tsai, supports making Taiwan independent from mainland China, while the Kuomintang supports eventually reunifying Taiwan with China. Since the Kuomintang lost mainland China to the Communist Party of China as the Chinese civil war ended in 1949, the separate governments of Taiwan and mainland China have each claimed the entirety of China as their territory, neither accepting the other’s claims.

The Chinese government claims it can take the island back using ready-to-launch missiles if necessary.

Tsai said that she will maintain affairs between Taiwan and mainland China as how it is in its current state. It must be ensured that “no provocations or accidents” occur between Taiwan and mainland China, she said. “I also want to emphasise that both sides of the Taiwanese Strait have a responsibility to find mutually acceptable means of interaction that are based on dignity and reciprocity.”



Sources[]

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

September 23, 2014

Tropical storm Fung-wong makes landfall in Eastern China

Tropical storm Fung-wong makes landfall in Eastern China

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fung-wong on September 20th approaching Taiwan.
Image: NASA.

Tropical Storm Fung-wong made landfall in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, China, at about 7:35 p.m local time (1135 UTC) yesterday, bringing with it reportedly 100kph (60mph) winds and heavy rains.

China prepared for the storms by recalling nearly 33,000 ships and boats to port, and the preemptive evacuation of over 250,000 people from vulnerable areas. Fung-Wong was moving inland, northwards and eastwards, and as it did so wind speeds and the possibility of wind damage should diminish however it should continue to present a flooding risk. The storm was expected to hit Shanghai today, and around 100,000 people were placed on standby to deal with possible flooding. Fung-wong should also lead to heavy rain in Japan and South Korea bringing with it the threat of flash floods.

Prior to hitting China, Fung-wong had previously landed in Taiwan and the Philippines, leading directly to one death in Taiwan. Philippine officials said flooding and strong winds caused a minimum of ten deaths in the Philippines, with about 200,000 people displaced from their homes.



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July 8, 2013

Panda cub born in Taiwan to gifted Chinese pandas

Panda cub born in Taiwan to gifted Chinese pandas

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Monday, July 8, 2013

Proud panda parents Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan at the Taipei Zoo in 2008.

Nine year old giant panda Yuan Yuan has given birth to a cub in a zoo in Taipei, Taiwan on Saturday at 8:05pm local time. The female cub was born weighing 6.4 ounces and measuring 6.1 inches. The cub won’t be on public display for another three to five months.

The cub, born out of an artificial insemination given in March, is under intensive care for its first week of life. It was the seventh attempt to get the nine-year old Yuan Yuan pregnant in a three year period. Yuan Yuan, and her mate, Tuan Tuan, were a gift from China to Taiwan in December, 2008, as a gesture of goodwill due to historical conflicts between the island of Taiwan and mainland China. The two pandas have failed to mate successfully through natural pregnancy, hence the use of artificial insemination. Yuan Yuan showed signs of pregnancy in early June and towards the end of the month caretakers believed she would soon give birth. Caretakers spent the night at the zoo, keeping a constant watch over Yuan Yuan during her birth.

China usually requests that cubs born in other countries be returned to China for care. China has agreed to allow the newborn cub to remain in Taiwan. Two Chinese panda specialists are at the zoo helping to care for the newborn.



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January 23, 2013

Philippines seeks United Nations arbitration on South China Sea claims

Philippines seeks United Nations arbitration on South China Sea claims

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

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The Philippines said yesterday it will take China to an arbitration tribunal under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on a series of territorial disputes involving the South China Sea.

According to Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, Manila chose this move after exhausting “almost all political and diplomatic avenues.” He also says he has already informed the Chinese ambassador in Manila.

Disputes such as those involving the Scarborough Shoal and China’s Nine-dotted line map are likely to be tackled. The Philippines has stated the map issued by China is unlawful under UNCLOS, which includes both countries as signatories.

The Philippines and China are involved in a variety of disputes in the South China Sea along with Taiwan and ASEAN members Brunei, Malaysia, and Vietnam. The current chair of ASEAN, Brunei, has stated it seeks a legally-binding “code of conduct” for the disputes.



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November 21, 2012

Philippines to host a four-country meeting about the South China Sea disputes

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

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South China Sea maritime claims

On Wednesday, the Philippines announced it will host a meeting on December 12 in Manila regarding territorial disputes in the South China Sea. The meeting is to be attended by the foreign ministers of Brunei, Malaysia, and Vietnam.

The meeting is a new step in attempts to solve the disputes between these countries and with China. China has previously stated it wishes to solve the disputes bilaterally instead of multilaterally. It comes after the failure of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to come up with a consensus on how to solve the disputes. Cambodia, a well-known ally of China and the current chair of ASEAN, refused to take-up the disputes during the recent summit in November.

Current disputes in the South China Sea are likely to be discussed in the meeting. These include areas such as the Spratly Islands, the Paracel Islands, the Pratas Islands, the Scarborough Shoal, and Macclesfield Bank. China and Taiwan claims the whole sea while the countries attending the meeting claim parts of it.

The area is abundant in fish and marine life and is also an important shipping lane. Large fossil fuel reserves, such as petroleum and natural gas, are believed to be located in the area.



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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Philippines to host four-country meeting about South China Sea disputes

Philippines to host four-country meeting about South China Sea disputes

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

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South China Sea maritime claims, June 2011.
Image: Voice of America.

The Philippines announced today it will host a meeting on December 12 in Manila regarding territorial disputes in the South China Sea. The meeting of deputy foreign ministers is to be attended by Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the host country.

The meeting is a new step in attempts to solve disputes between these countries and China. China has previously stated it wishes to solve the disputes bilaterally instead of multilaterally. It comes after the failure of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to produce a consensus on how to solve the disputes during a summit this month. Cambodia, an ally of China, is the current chair of ASEAN.

Current disputes in the South China Sea include areas such as the Spratly Islands and the Scarborough Shoal. China and Taiwan each claim nearly the whole sea while the countries attending the meeting claim parts of it.

The area contains abundant fishing grounds and important shipping lanes. Large fossil fuel deposits are believed located in the area.



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