Date: March 25, 2016
The first visit to Taiping Island by an international media group took place March 23, and
ROC President Ma Ying-jeou offered the same opportunity to the Philippines government.
Organized by the ROC Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the foreign contingent included 12 journalists from global news outlets like Agence France-Presse, Al Jazeera, Associated Press, Bloomberg, CNN, Financial Times, Kyodo News, Reuters and The Wall Street Journal.
MOFA Deputy Minister Bruce J. D. Linghu, who led the group on its one-day trip, said Taiping Island is the largest naturally formed island in the Nansha chain and capable of fully sustaining its residents.
Ma said he formally invites the Philippines government to send representatives to tour the island in an effort to help the government of the Southeast Asian nation understand that Taiping Island is an island and not a rock, as it argues in an international tribunal. He also welcomes the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague to perform a site visit. [FULL STORY]