By: George Liao, Taiwan News, Staff Writer
President Ma Ying-jeou said on Thursday during a state visit that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) is planning a trip for foreign media to visit Taiping Island in the South China Sea.
The island, administered by Taiwan, is also claimed by China, the Philippines and Vietnam.
Ma made the statement while he was chatting with the media in the hotel he stayed.
Foreign Minister David Lin, who has been accompanying Ma on the state visit to allies Belize and Guatemala in Central America, said that after Ma set foot in Taiping Island in January, the MOFA has been planning the follow-up, but has yet to decide on a timeline.
Media reports have said that the government had planned to take domestic and foreign media on a trip to visit the still-under-military-control Taiping Island of Spratly Islands in the South China Sea on March 23 or March 24, weather permitting, to witness that the island is an “island,” not a “rock,” and suitable for human inhabitance and economic activities.
Lin said he hoped to arrange for media to visit Taiping Island at an appropriate time, which is still at the planning stage, and therefore could not make a comment at this moment. [SOURCE]