Sunday, July 14, 2024

China Seizes Taiwanese Fishing Boat, Tensions in Taiwan Strait – N.F Times

Amid increasing tensions between China and Taiwan, Chinese coast guard vessels seized a Taiwanese fishing boat and its five-member crew on Tuesday night. The incident occurred in Chinese waters approximately 27 miles northeast of Kinmen, a Taiwanese-controlled island near the Chinese mainland.

The fishing boat, Ta Chin Man 88, was boarded and taken control of by two Chinese Coast Guard ships. Taiwan’s Coast Guard Administration reported that their vessels, attempting to assist the fishing boat, were blocked by Chinese counterparts.

The seized vessel had a mixed crew of two Taiwanese and three Indonesian nationals. Hsieh Ching-chin, a spokesperson for Taiwan’s Coast Guard Administration, confirmed that the boat had entered Chinese territorial waters. He suggested that the seizure might be related to China’s stricter enforcement of its annual fishing moratorium, which began on May 1.

Hsieh reported that China has seized 17 Taiwanese fishing boats since 2003. He called for the immediate release of the boat and crew, urging China not to politicize the incident.

The timing of this action is especially delicate, occurring just after the inauguration of Taiwan’s new President, Lai Ching-te, who is unfavourably regarded by Beijing for his denial of China’s sovereignty claims over Taiwan.

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