Two Chinese fishermen die after sea chase with Taiwanese coastguard

Two Chinese fishermen die after sea chase with Taiwanese coastguard
Two Chinese fishermen die after sea chase with Taiwanese coastguard

We show you our most important and recent visitors news details Two Chinese fishermen die after sea chase with Taiwanese coastguard in the following article

Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - TAIPEI — Two Chinese fishermen have drowned while being chased by the Taiwanese coastguard off Taiwan's northernmost Kinmen archipelago.

Taipei said the fishing boat trespassed into Taiwanese waters on Wednesday.

The four fishermen on board resisted an inspection and the boat capsized when authorities gave chase.

Beijing "strongly condemned" the incident, saying it "seriously hurt the feelings of compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait".

Kinmen lies just 3km (1.86 miles) away from China's south-eastern coast, placing it on the frontline of tensions between China and Taiwan.

China sees self-ruled Taiwan as a breakaway province that will, eventually, be part of the country, and has not ruled out the use of force to achieve this.

In recent years, Kinmen residents have reported seeing an increased presence of Chinese dredging vessels in its vicinity. The group of islands has a population of about 180,000 and is located 187km from Taiwan's main island.

Two of the four people on board the Chinese boat were pronounced dead at the hospital after efforts to resuscitate them failed, the coastguard said.

"The other two are in stable condition and have been brought to Kinmen for further investigation by prosecutors," it said.

Wednesday's incident comes amid rising tensions between both sides. Taiwan in January elected a new president whom Beijing regards as a "separatist".

China's Taiwan Affairs Office has urged Taiwanese authorities to investigate the incident and offer assistance to the victims' families.

Zhu Fenglian, a spokeswoman for the office accused Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party of "using various excuses to forcefully seize Chinese fishing vessels and using violent and dangerous methods against Chinese fishermen".

She said Beijing believes that communities on both sides of the Taiwan Strait are part of "one family".

It has "done a lot of work to facilitate normal operations for fishermen on both sides", she said.

Taiwan authorities defended the coastguard's actions on Thursday and called on Beijing to "restrain similar behaviors" on its waters.

"Recently, many Chinese fishing boats have continued to enter our restricted or prohibited waters, taking advantage of the Lunar New Year to catch high-value fish," Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council said.

"We deeply regret that the Chinese crew refused to cooperate with our law enforcement work and this unfortunate incident occurred," it said. — BBC

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