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President Ma meets New York University School of Law Professor Jerome A. Cohen

President Ma Ying-jeou met on the morning of December 12 with Professor Jerome A. Cohen, co-director of the U.S.-Asia Law Institute at the New York University School of Law. In addition to explaining the efforts and achievements of Taiwan in protecting human rights, the president again urged that all parties concerned about mainland China's recent announcement of an East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) should engage in bilateral negotiations with the mainland to resolve the matter in a peaceful manner.

President Ma mentioned that Professor Cohen in his classes taught the difference between reform through labor and re-education through labor, and in September of this year co-authored with Seton Hall University School of Law Associate Professor Margaret K. Lewis the book Challenge to China: How Taiwan Abolished Its Version of Re-education Through Labor. The book explores re-education through labor in mainland China and Taiwan's repeal of the Anti-Hooligan Act in 2009, he commented. The president also noted that the book examines Taiwan's implementation of democracy and rule of law, adding that the book has enormous reference value and meaning from an educational standpoint.

President Ma stated that the ROC government has always attached great importance to the rule of law and the protection of human rights. He commented that in 2009, his second year of office, he signed the instruments of ratification for the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the legislature passed an enforcement act to incorporate the two covenants into domestic law. In addition, the ROC adopted a national human rights report in accordance with United Nations procedures, and in February of this year the government invited 10 international human rights experts, including Professor Cohen, to Taiwan to review the report. This, he said, demonstrates the government's transparency and respectful attitude in handling topics associated with human rights.

As for international relations, the president stated, the ROC has always advocated peaceful resolution of disputes. In April of this year Taiwan signed a fisheries agreement with Japan under which both sides agreed to shelve their sovereignty dispute over the Diaoyutai Islets in the East China Sea, thus resolving a 40-year dispute over fishing rights in the Diaoyutais, which the president said he is extremely pleased to see. Secondly, after a Philippine government vessel opened fire on a Taiwanese fishing boat in May of this year, damaging the boat and killing a fisherman, Taiwan improved 11 economic sanctions on the Philippines. Following three months of negotiations and coordination, the Philippines agreed to apologize, provide compensation, and file charges against those responsible for the incident. President Ma commented that while Taiwan and the Philippines have yet to sign a fisheries agreement, the two sides have reached an important consensus to forbid the use of force, provide notification to the other prior to the enforcement of the law, and release detained persons as soon as possible. These are good ways to reduce confrontation, he commented.

In addition, the president discussed mainland China's announcement on November 23 that it has demarcated an East China Sea ADIZ. President Ma again urged all parties not to raise the level of tensions in the region. He also called on the parties to engage in bilateral dialogue to resolve disputes concerning overlapping ADIZs. As for civil aircraft flying through any other nation's ADIZ, the president said, Taiwan will act in accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organization's suggestion to forward flight plans provided by airlines to the civil aviation authorities of the other nation in order to ensure aviation safety.

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Code Ver.:201710241546 & 201710241546.cs