19 December 2012

Gambia: Assembly Approves 'East China Sea Peace Initiative'

National Assembly members Tuesday unanimously considered and adopted a resolution to support the good efforts of the president and people of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in resolving the territorial disputes in the East China Sea known as 'The East China Sea Peace Initiative'.

The Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in The Gambia through its diplomatic efforts introduced the initiative to the president of the Republic, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya Jammeh and the people of The Gambia.

Laying the motion before members, Hon. Fabakary Tombong Jatta, the Majority leader and NAM for Serrekunda East, said; "the peace loving people of the Republic of China (Taiwan) once again solicit the support of His Excellency the President and people of The Gambia, including the National Assembly, to not only support their good efforts on this new peace initiative, but also for us as a sovereign people and as champion of fair-play, equity, natural justice and the rule of law in regulating the international relations of all actors in the international arena to support this new initiative known as 'The East China Sea Peace Initiative'..".

"The East China Sea Peace Initiative is a laudable and equitable initiative by the people and government of the Republic of china (Taiwan) under the distinguished leadership of H.E. Ma Ying-jeou, president of the Republic of China (Taiwan)," he further stated.

He added: "It is a well thought strategy that is aimed at providing a peaceful resolution to the territorial disputes, dangerously protracted between the important States-parties namely: the Republic of China (Taiwan), the Peoples' Republic of China and Japan. It also provides an amicable win-win solution for all parties, without resorting to the use of force."

Hon. Jatta then declared that the Republic of The Gambia, as a champion of the observance of international law and the maintenance of peace and comity in the international arena, hereby gives its unequivocal support to the "East China Sea Peace Initiative".

He told the Assembly that they are also calling on the aforesaid state-parties, the United Nations and all its organs and the entire international community to support, enhance and facilitate the smooth implementation of this new initiative. "We further urge the UN Secretary General and the Security Council to consider and adopt a persuasive resolution, calling on protractors to lend support to the good efforts of this initiative in the interest of International peace and security," he concluded.

Baboucarr Nyang, NAM for Banjul South, who seconded the motion, gave a historical background of the disputed island dating back to the 1930s when Japan, then a regional power, invaded and occupied China, which included Taiwan. He added that this occupation ended when the Japanese were defeated in 1945.

According to him, the defeat of Japan was followed by a civil war between the Nationalists led by Chiang Kai Chek and the Communists by Mao Ze Tung, which the Communists won and the Nationalists left the mainland and moved to the island now called Taiwan.

He continued: "Both the Nationalists in Taiwan and the Communists in the mainland consider Taiwan to be a province in China, but cannot agree who has the right to rule the whole country. Few nations recognise Taiwan as a separate country but despite this, Taiwan has a striving economy and has established a democratic system of government."

Hon Nyang said that despite all the problems encountered by Taiwan, the island nation has tried very hard to open to Mainland China whilst the disputed Islands are closer to Taiwan than Mainland China. He said Japan is an economic power and very close to the United States which has a military pact since 1960 while China on the other hand is both a military and economic superpower, therefore any miscalculation could lead to a major conflict which could be very disastrous to the area and the worse for Taiwan, which could be seriously affected considering its proximity to the Dianotal Islands.

Hon. Aji Fatou Mbaye, the deputy speaker of the National Assembly, congratulated Ambassador Chen for seeing the initiative through and ensuring that a resolution is passed for the support of the initiative. She said she strongly supports the initiative and requested all the members to do the same.

Hon. Bintanding Jarju, NAM for Foni Brefet, said that women and children are fed up with being refugees in camps. She added that women want to stay in their own homes and bring up their families in a peaceful environment.

Other speakers included Hon. Captain Lamin Saine, nominated member; Hon. Mam Cherno Jallow, NAM for Upper Niumi; Hon. Pa Malick Ceesay, NAM for Lower Saloum; Hon. Muhammad Magassy, NAM for Basse; Hon. Abdou Colley, NAM for Kombo South; and Hon. Habiboulie Jallow, NAM for Jimara.

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