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Expulsion of Chinese Ships Illegally Fishing in Taiwanese Waters is Fully Legal and Legitimate

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TAIWAN – The Taipei Economic and Trade Office (TETO) condemned a statement by the Chinese Government’s Taiwan Affairs Office blaming Taiwan for the deaths of two Chinese fishermen while illegally fishing in Taiwanese waters.

The office said that the statement suggests that China is purely defending its fishing vessels that conduct illegal fishing outside its territory and deliberately blaming Taiwan, in an attempt to create tension between the two sides of the strait.

“We strongly condemn such actions,” said TETO in a release seen by The Editor on Saturday (17/2).

It is known that the two fishermen were declared dead after being rescued by Taiwan Marine Patrol officers on Wednesday (14/2).

At around 1pm, a fishing boat from China crossed the line into waters near Beiding Island in Kinmen, Taiwan, to fish illegally.

Taiwan Marine Patrol officers took routine measures by sending patrol boats to conduct inspections.

However, the Chinese fishing vessel refused inspection, evaded and fled, causing the vessel to capsize and four Chinese fishermen to fall overboard.

Taiwanese patrol officers immediately rescued them and sent them to a hospital in Kinmen for treatment. Two of the Chinese fishermen died after the rescue attempt.

This case involved Taiwanese marine patrol officers who performed their duties according to the law without committing any inappropriate acts.

However, the Taiwan Affairs Office of the Chinese government did not distinguish between right and wrong by accusing the Taiwanese marine patrol officers of abusive and dangerous behavior that led to this tragic incident.

“China often allows their fishing vessels to illegally enter Taiwanese waters to catch fish, use fish bombs, use toxic substances on fish, take sand from the sea, and dump marine debris, all of which damage the marine ecosystem,” said TETO.

“Although the Taiwanese government has repeatedly asked the Chinese side to control themselves, there has been no improvement,” they continued.

In recent years, many fishing vessels from China have routinely entered Taiwanese waters to illegally catch high-priced fish, harming the rights of Taiwanese fishermen and the lives of coastal communities.

Taiwanese people have repeatedly reported these incidents and asked Taiwanese authorities to act according to the law by expelling them.

Taiwan’s marine patrol officers are tasked with protecting the rights of fishermen, defending the country’s sovereignty.

According to statistics, from 2016 to 2023, a total of more than 9,000 fishing vessels from China have been seized and prevented from operating by Taiwan for committing various illegal acts such as overfishing, marine sand theft, and smuggling.

Some of them even omitted or covered up the name of the vessel to avoid inspection, even to the point of ramming or attacking Taiwanese marine patrol officers.

“Our country regrets this unpleasant incident involving the Chinese crew’s refusal to cooperate with Taiwanese authorities in law enforcement, which led to this tragic incident in a dangerous way,” said TETO.

“We hope that the Chinese authorities will tighten the supervision of such illegal actions so that the incident will not happen again, in order to maintain peace and stability on both sides of the strait,” they concluded.


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