Taiwan says four Chinese ships entered its waters

Taiwan says four Chinese ships entered its waters
Taiwan says four Chinese ships entered its waters

(Taipei) Taipei said on Monday that four Chinese coast guard boats had briefly sailed in its prohibited waters and called on Beijing to stop any behavior “endangering maritime security”.


Posted at 7:56 a.m.

The Chinese vessels sailed south of Kinmen Island, five kilometers from the Chinese city of Xiamen, around 3:30 p.m. local time on Monday, the Taiwanese Coast Guard said in a statement.

The boats “left our prohibited waters” an hour later, continued the same Source, calling on Beijing to immediately stop all “behavior endangering maritime security”.

Monday’s incident comes two weeks before the May 20 inauguration of Taiwan’s new president, Lai Ching-te.

Like outgoing leader Tsai Ing-wen, Mr. Lai rejects Beijing’s demands, which sees Taiwan as part of its territory to be retaken one day, by force if necessary.

China has increased pressure in recent years by strengthening the presence of its navy and aircraft around the island.

Beijing describes Lai Ching-te, current vice-president, as a “dangerous separatist” who will lead Taiwan down the path “to war and decline”.

China has promised to step up patrols around Taipei-administered Kinmen Island after a series of deadly accidents involving fishermen earlier in 2024.

A Chinese speedboat carrying four people overturned near the island on February 14, while the Taiwanese coast guard was pursuing it. Two people had lost their lives.

Another Chinese boat capsized in the area in March, killing two more crew members.

The Taiwanese coast guard defended itself, arguing that the Chinese ship was operating in “restricted waters” and zigzagged before overturning. For its part, Beijing accused Taipei of “hiding the truth”.

Taiwanese Defense Minister Sun Li-fang assured the press on Tuesday that Taiwan would increase its assistance to the coast guard for surveillance and recognition of Chinese vessels entering the exclusive waters of the island.

“We are overall very well prepared and have complete confidence in our ability to ensure regional security,” he said, when asked about the possibility that the presence of Chinese boats would disrupt supplies to the Taiwanese islands far from Taipei. .

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