Taiwan urges China to stop its fishermen from trespassing

2017/05/06 22:24:33 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Photo courtesy of CGA

Photo courtesy of CGA

Taipei, May 6 (CNA) Taiwan urged China on Saturday to step up the education of its fishermen and stop them from trespassing into Taiwanese waters, after two Chinese fishermen were injured while trying to resist inspection by Taiwan Coast Guard officials near the Penghu archipelago in the Taiwan Strait.

The boat, from Guangdong Province's Nan'ao County, was detected 23 nautical miles west of Penghu's western-most Huayu Islet at around 5:20 a.m. Saturday and refused to stop for inspection, despite several warning broadcasts, according to the Coast Guard Administration.

Coast guard officers fired rubber bullets to force the boat to stop, injuring two of the crew members in the legs during the confrontation, the Coast Guard said. They were sent to a hospital for treatment and are in stable condition.

In Beijing, China's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) expressed "indignation" over what it called Taiwan's "seizure and arrest for no good reasons" and urged Taiwan to release the boat and crew as soon as possible.

"We demand the Taiwan side to launch an investigation immediately into this incident, release the crew and the boat as soon as possible, and stop similar incidents happening again," said An Fengshan, spokesman for the TAO.

The Mainland Affairs Council said China has imposed a moratorium on its fishing boats, but cannot stop many of them from violating their own government rules.

"Mainland fishing boats have violated Taiwan's law and repeatedly engaged in illegal fishing, seriously affecting Taiwanese fishermen's rights and interests," MAC said.

Last year, Taiwan's coast guard chased away 107 trespassing Chinese fishing boats, according to the Coast Guard Administration. To more effectively stop such incidents, Taiwan has toughened its law by raising the maximum fine on violators to NT$10 million.

(By Kao Chao-fen and S.C. Chang)

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