The South China Sea Peace Initiative announced by President Ma Ying-jeou called on claimants to temporarily shelve their disagreements to enable negotiations on sharing resources.
Ma's plan is similar to a 2012 proposal for the East China Sea, which allowed Taiwan and Japan to jointly fish in the contested waters.
However it appeared unlikely the plan would be accepted by China, which claims most of the South China Sea and has rebuffed earlier attempts at multilateral negotiations.
Taiwan has so far played a marginal role in disputes between China and its neighbours in the South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year.
China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei all have overlapping claims in the South China Sea. China said on Monday it had lodged a complaint with the United States over a U.S. spy plane that flew over parts of the disputed sea.  
Taiwan normally maintains a low-key approach to such issues but has coast guard and military facilities in the area, including an airstrip and soon-to-be-completed port on Taiping Island, also known as Itu Abu, the largest natural land mass in the disputed Spratlys archipelago.

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