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Taiwan's security chief visits contested islands to press claim

Published on Sep 1, 2012 1:49 PM

TAIPEI (AFP) - Taiwan's security chief and several top officials have visited contested islands in the South China Sea to press Taipei's claim to the disputed territory, the government said on Saturday.

National security council chief Hu Wei-jen, Interior Minister Lee Hong-yuan, coast guard chief Wang Jinn-wang and other officials landed at Taiping, the biggest islet in the Spratlys, on Friday on a military jet, the council said.

The officials visited Taiwanese troops stationed on the islet to declare Taiwan's "indisputable" sovereignty over the archipelago but urged all parties to put aside their differences to develop the islands, it said in a statement.

Brunei, China, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam also claim all or part of the Spratlys - an area thought to contain large oil reserves.

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