April 12, 2024

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Two Chinese fishermen drowned after being chased by the Taiwanese Coast Guard

Two Chinese fishermen drowned after being chased by the Taiwanese Coast Guard

BANGKOK >> Two Chinese fishermen drowned while being pursued by the Taiwan Coast Guard off the coast of Taiwan's Kinmen Archipelago, the Coast Guard said Wednesday, accusing them of trespassing.

These deaths are unusual despite the level of Chinese activity in the waters near Kinmen, which is closer to China than to the main island of Taiwan. China claims all of Taiwan as part of its territory.

China's Taiwan Affairs Office strongly condemned the killing and called for an investigation, saying: “Such a malicious event during the Spring Festival seriously hurts the feelings of compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.” Both China and Taiwan celebrate the Lunar New Year holiday.

The statement accused Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party of using “all kinds of excuses to forcibly search Chinese fishing vessels, and using violent and dangerous methods towards Chinese fishermen.”

The Taiwan Coast Guard Administration said in a statement that the unnamed Chinese ship was sailing one nautical mile off the coast of Kinmen Island. The Chinese ship tried to escape, but it capsized.

Deputy Commander of the Kinmen Coast Guard, Chen Jinwen, told a local TV channel that four fishermen fell into the water and two survived and are in “good condition,” while efforts to revive the other two failed.

The Coast Guard said the case has been reported to the Kinmen Public Prosecutor's Office, and the fishermen's families are being contacted through official channels.

“We are maintaining a certain level of communication with the other side and our coast guard, and we will immediately inform them of that,” Taiwan Mainland Affairs Council Chairman Chiu Tai-san, who oversees the island's relations with China, told reporters Thursday morning. Related developments.”

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Kinmen is located in the Taiwan Strait, which separates China and Taiwan. From some parts of the archipelago, the city of Xiamen in southern China can be seen with the naked eye.

Kinmen residents in recent years have reported seeing an increase in sand dredging vessels from China, which take sand from the ocean floor, as well as fishing vessels near its coast. Sometimes dozens of ships can be seen from the island.