Asia

Taiwan president visits small island in show of sovereignty

  • Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou, center, smiles as he leaves a lighthouse, background, during his visit to Pengjia Islet in the East China Sea, north of Taiwan, Saturday, April 9, 2016. Ma visited the small island to reassert Taiwan's sovereignty and its role in the contested region, one of the key issues of his administration that ends next month. Ma's visit to Pengjia, roughly 35 miles (56 kilometers) north of Taiwan proper, was his administration's second propaganda trip to an island in three weeks. It came four years after Ma last visited Pengjia to propose a plan to address territorial disputes between China, Taiwan and Japan over the nearby chain known as Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyutai in Chinese. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

    Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou, center, smiles as he leaves a lighthouse, background, during his visit to Pengjia Islet in the East China Sea, north of Taiwan, Saturday, April 9, 2016. Ma visited the small island to reassert Taiwan's sovereignty and its role in the contested region, one of the key issues of his administration that ends next month. Ma's visit to Pengjia, roughly 35 miles (56 kilometers) north of Taiwan proper, was his administration's second propaganda trip to an island in three weeks. It came four years after Ma last visited Pengjia to propose a plan to address territorial disputes between China, Taiwan and Japan over the nearby chain known as Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyutai in Chinese. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)  (The Associated Press)

  • A Taiwan Coast Guard officer stands guard under a Taiwanese flag during Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou's visit to Pengjia Islet in the East China Sea, north of Taiwan, Saturday, April 9, 2016. Ma visited the small island to reassert Taiwan's sovereignty and its role in the contested region, one of the key issues of his administration that ends next month. Ma's visit to Pengjia, roughly 35 miles (56 kilometers) north of Taiwan proper, was his administration's second propaganda trip to an island in three weeks. It came four years after Ma last visited Pengjia to propose a plan to address territorial disputes between China, Taiwan and Japan over the nearby chain known as Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyutai in Chinese. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

    A Taiwan Coast Guard officer stands guard under a Taiwanese flag during Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou's visit to Pengjia Islet in the East China Sea, north of Taiwan, Saturday, April 9, 2016. Ma visited the small island to reassert Taiwan's sovereignty and its role in the contested region, one of the key issues of his administration that ends next month. Ma's visit to Pengjia, roughly 35 miles (56 kilometers) north of Taiwan proper, was his administration's second propaganda trip to an island in three weeks. It came four years after Ma last visited Pengjia to propose a plan to address territorial disputes between China, Taiwan and Japan over the nearby chain known as Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyutai in Chinese. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)  (The Associated Press)

  • Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou, third from right, waves upon arrival at Pengjia Islet in the East China Sea, north of Taiwan, Saturday, April 9, 2016. Ma visited the small island to reassert Taiwan's sovereignty and its role in the contested region, one of the key issues of his administration that ends next month. Ma's visit to Pengjia, roughly 35 miles (56 kilometers) north of Taiwan proper, was his administration's second propaganda trip to an island in three weeks. It came four years after Ma last visited Pengjia to propose a plan to address territorial disputes between China, Taiwan and Japan over the nearby chain known as Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyutai in Chinese. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

    Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou, third from right, waves upon arrival at Pengjia Islet in the East China Sea, north of Taiwan, Saturday, April 9, 2016. Ma visited the small island to reassert Taiwan's sovereignty and its role in the contested region, one of the key issues of his administration that ends next month. Ma's visit to Pengjia, roughly 35 miles (56 kilometers) north of Taiwan proper, was his administration's second propaganda trip to an island in three weeks. It came four years after Ma last visited Pengjia to propose a plan to address territorial disputes between China, Taiwan and Japan over the nearby chain known as Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyutai in Chinese. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)  (The Associated Press)

President Ma Ying-jeou is visiting a small island in the East China Sea to reassert Taiwan's sovereignty and its role in the contested region, one of the key issues of his administration that ends next month.

Ma's visit on Saturday to Pengjia, roughly 35 miles (56 kilometers) north of Taiwan proper, comes four years after he last visited the island to propose a plan to address territorial disputes between China, Taiwan and Japan over the nearby chain known as Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyutai in Chinese.

During his eight-year term, Ma has sought to position Taiwan as a mediator in the region's numerous territorial disputes while asserting its own claims.

Ma flew to Taiping Island in the South China Sea in January, which Washington, a crucial ally, called "extremely unhelpful."