Premier urges cooperation in Kinmen dispute

21 February, 2024

Courtesy of ICRT


Premier Chen Chien-jen is urging both sides of the Taiwan Strait to cooperate on maritime security in waters around Kinmen and Xiamen with "rationality and equality."


The call comes after Chinese maritime officials boarded and inspected a Taiwan-registered sightseeing vessel in waters off Kinmen earlier this week. The Coast Guard Administration says the "King Xia" was in waters some 2.8 nautical miles northwest of Kinmen's Wu-Sha-Jiao when it was intercepted by two Chinese coast guard boats. Six Chinese officers boarded the Taiwan vessel, which was on a tour around Kinmen waters. They inspected the boat and asked to see crew members' documentation. The "King Xia" was carrying 11 crew members and 23 passengers at the time.


A Taiwan coast guard patrol boat was dispatched to the scene when the Chinese coast guard boats were spotted on radar and proceeded to escort the "King Xia" back to Shui-Tou Port. The Coast Guard Administration says the "King Xia" veered slightly off course due to multiple shoals and while such accidents have occurred in the past, it was the first time a sightseeing vessel has been boarded by Chinese maritime officials.

The Chinese inspection was in response to the death last week of two Chinese nationals, who were killed after their speedboat capsized while they were attempting to evade a Coast Guard Administration patrol boat off the eastern coast of Kinmen.


Just before a Legislative hearing, Chen said Taiwan adheres to the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area when it handles issues in waters around the outlying islands.


Chen says the Ministry of National Defense established the boundaries of "prohibited waters and restricted waters" around Kinmen in 1992 to better protect fishermen, with relevant law enforcement well understood by both sides across the strait.


The premier went on to say the government here in Taiwan will continue to uphold maritime safety and fisher's rights - and both sides should prohibit the entry of illegal fishing vessels and ships into these waters through the respective coast guards.

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