Taiwan fishing boat detained by China near Jinjiang: Will it escalate into a legal battle in the future? Taiwan fishing boat detained by China near Jinjiang: Will it escalate into a legal battle in the future?

Taiwan fishing boat detained by China near Jinjiang: Will it escalate into a legal battle in the future?

Taiwan fishing boat detained by China near Jinjiang: Will it escalate into a legal battle in the future?

Taiwan's Executive Yuan spokesman Chen Shih-kai admitted on the 3rd that Taiwanese fishing boats and crew members did mistakenly enter Chinese waters to fish during China's fishing moratorium. He called on China to release the fishing boats and crew members as soon as possible, and reminded Taiwanese fishermen that China will enter a fishing moratorium in May, and fishermen should not take the risk of violating regulations. He also called on China not to escalate the fishermen's simple violations and cause unrest among fishermen.

China detained the boat on the grounds of ecological damage. Penghu Fishery Association: The explanation of forcibly detaining Taiwanese fishermen

The Chinese side avoided the terms "crossing the boundary" and "territorial waters" involving national sovereignty, and detained the Taiwanese fishermen on the grounds that the fishing gear they used violated the "national regulations" on size.

At about 3 p.m. on the 3rd, Chinese media Sina.com published a report titled "Fujian Coast Guard seized a Taiwanese fishing boat suspected of illegal fishing," quoting China Coast Guard spokesperson Liu Dejun as saying, "The fishing boat violated the summer fishing moratorium regulations, illegally trawled within the bottom trawling prohibited area, and used a net far smaller than the minimum mesh size stipulated by the state, damaging marine fishery resources and the ecological environment. During this period, the relevant Taiwanese ships attempted to interfere with normal law enforcement, and the Fujian Coast Guard warned and drove them away in accordance with the law."

Regarding being called "fishing boats registered in Taiwan Province," Cai Yuejiao, Secretary-General of the Penghu District Fisheries Association, said in an interview with Radio Free Asia: "That's what they said."

As for the Chinese claim that the detained fishing boats "used nets with mesh sizes far smaller than the minimum size specified by the state", this "state regulation" refers to the "regulations of the People's Republic of China". Tsai Yue-jiao defended the Penghu fishermen, saying that the Taiwan Fisheries Agency's regulations on fishing and fishery protection are stricter, and that fishermen use trawl nets, not bottom trawl nets, while many Chinese fishing boats use roller bottom trawl nets, which further damage the seabed ecology. Moreover, Taiwanese trawlers must obtain a license issued by the Taiwan Fisheries Agency before leaving the port.

Tsai Yue-jiao said: "They probably wanted to force our fishing boats to go to their mainland side. They have their own explanation." "If they had not stopped fishing, they would have crossed the border to fish in Penghu. Our coast guard had also led their mainland fishing boats to Penghu to detain them. They all used bottom gill nets, which destroyed all the coral reefs in the Penghu waters."

Penghu Fishermen's Association: The President stressed that "the two countries are not subordinate to each other" and China is targeting fishermen

Cai Yuejiao said that fishermen in Penghu catch small pipefish in summer. According to fishermen, there were about 30 to 40 boats operating in the Liaoluo Sea area on the evening of the 2nd. Fishermen saw the Chinese Coast Guard ship dispatched through radar, and they would notify fishermen to leave by satellite phone. The "Dajinman 88" crossed the border a little bit, and there was no time to escape. This was the first time that Penghu encountered a crossing-border detention, which made fishermen nervous. "In the past, we turned a blind eye and drove him away without arresting him. Maybe the situation on both sides of the strait is tense, so they deliberately took advantage of the announcement of the fishing moratorium to detain him."

Tsai Yue-jiao mentioned: "President (Lai Ching-te) kept emphasizing that the two countries are not subordinate to each other at the Academia Sinica yesterday. It is probably a political issue that involves Taiwanese fishermen and sacrifices the livelihoods and rights of fishermen. The other side said that Taiwan's fishing boats belong to mainland China. Give them some face. If you are so tough, Tsai Ing-wen will not keep emphasizing that the two countries are not subordinate to each other. Does Taiwan have bigger ships and stronger military power than China? Both sides want to save face and step down. The fishermen hope that peace between the two sides is the best."

Xie Qingqin, deputy director of the Coast Guard Administration, stressed that China has been different this year from the past. During the summer fishing moratorium, China has enforced the law vigorously, expelling 138 foreign fishing boats, inspecting 14 boats, and detaining 1 boat and 10 people. Yesterday, the Chinese Coast Guard also harassed Japanese fishing boats near Diaoyutai. Since 2003 (excluding this case), there have been three cases in which 17 national fishing boats were inspected and detained by mainland China for violating the summer fishing moratorium. Among them, 11 were released after paying fines, and 6 were taken back by Taiwan after on-site negotiations. The last similar detention occurred 17 years ago in July 2007.

Military expert: China may fully enforce domestic law in its treatment of Taiwanese fishermen

Jie Zhong, a researcher at the China Strategic Foresight Association, said in an interview with Radio Free Asia that mainland China had turned a blind eye to Taiwanese fishermen fishing in fishing moratoriums and territorial waters for 17 years. This time it is taking practical action to cancel the special treatment for Taiwan, and a full-scale legal battle may be launched in the future.

Jie Zhong mentioned that many of Taiwan's outlying islands, such as Kinmen, Matsu, Dongyin, and Wuqiu, are within the territorial sea baseline announced by China in 1996. "We cannot rule out the possibility that if cross-strait political tensions escalate, mainland China will board and inspect merchant ships hired by the national army and seize them for entering mainland China's territorial waters because they carry military supplies and military personnel, which is a violation of mainland China's laws. We must face this possibility seriously."

The "Dajinman 88" was detained on the evening of the 2nd. The 5 crew members included 2 Taiwanese and 3 Indonesians. The Coast Guard Administration stated that the location where they were boarded and detained exceeded the restricted waters and radar detection range of the Coast Guard. The ship was towed to China. The Coast Guard chased it until it was only 5.4 nautical miles from the Jinjiang coast. The lights of Jinjiang were visible. They called on the Chinese Coast Guard to release the people through the radio. In order to avoid escalating the conflict, they stopped chasing. At that time, the Coast Guard Administration urgently sent 3 boats to help. The Chinese boats were originally 2, and later 4 were assembled.

The Coast Guard chased the Chinese ship to only 5.4 miles away and called on the Chinese Coast Guard to release the ship.

Some people questioned why Taiwan did not send out ships to rescue. Chen Guoming, the editorial director of Taiwan's Global Defense Magazine, said in an interview with Radio Free Asia: "According to the provisions of international maritime law, our public vessels cannot exercise the right of hot pursuit within China's territorial waters. The Coast Guard Administration was eager to rescue the ship and chased it outside the territorial waters. In fact, the right of hot pursuit does not belong to Taiwan. According to international law, we are at fault."

Chen Guoming said that most of Taiwan's offshore patrol boats are only 100 tons, while China's are often 500 or 600 tons, which is simply incomparable.

KMT Chairman Eric Chu pointed out at the Central Standing Committee on the 3rd that such serious consequences would not have happened in the past, but they have now happened. The bodies of two mainland fishermen who were suspected to have died in a capsized boat while being pursued by Taiwan's Coast Guard are still in Kinmen. A Kinmen military fisherman went fishing on the other side but was detained and has not returned. Now there is another incident of a Penghu fishing boat being detained. The hostility between the two sides of the strait is spiraling. I hope that both sides can show more goodwill and let these things come to an end soon.

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