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Taiwan demands release of fishing vessel it says was seized by China's coast guard
Posted by Temmy
Wed, July 03, 2024 3:05pm

Taiwan demands release of fishing vessel it says was seized by China's coast guard
A screen grab captured from a video shows a Chinese vessel being monitored by the Taiwanese military as China conducts a military drill around Taiwan on May 23, 2024. TAIWAN'S MILITARY NEWS AGENCY, MINISTRY OF NATIONAL DEFENSE, R.O.C. / HANDOUT /ANADOLU VIA GETTY IMAGES

Taiwan said the Chinese coast guard boarded a Taiwanese fishing boat Tuesday before steering it to a port in mainland China, and demanded that Beijing release the vessel.

The Dajinman 88 was intercepted by two Chinese vessels Tuesday evening near the Kinmen archipelago, which lies a short distance off China's coast but is controlled by Taiwan, Taiwanese maritime authorities said in a statement.

Taiwan dispatched two vessels to rescue the Dajinman 88 but were blocked by Chinese boats and told not to interfere, the statement said. The pursuit was called off to avoid escalating the conflict, the statement added.

"The Coast Guard calls on the mainland to refrain from engaging in political manipulation and harming cross-strait relations, and to release the Dajinman ship and crew as soon as possible," the statement read.

The boat had six crew onboard, including the captain and five migrant workers, according to Taiwan's official Central News Agency. The vessel was just over 12 miles away from Jinjiang in mainland China when it was boarded, Taiwanese authorities said.

China claims self-governing Taiwan as its territory and says the island must come under its control. The Chinese military regularly sends warplanes and ships toward the island and staged a large exercise with dozens of aircraft and vessels in May.

Fishermen from both Taiwan and China regularly sail the stretch of water near the Kinmen archipelago, which has seen a rise in tensions as the number of Chinese vessels — including sand dredgers and fishing boats — have notably increased in the area.


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