Thu, Oct 26, 2006 - Page 2 News List

After two-day delay, Diaoyutai protesters head north

QUITE A MIX The Taiwanese ship met up with a Chinese vessel carrying 25 anti-Japanese activists and set out to reclaim the island chain from Japan for Taiwan or China

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taipei County Councilor and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) member King Chieh-shou yesterday holds up a sign saying ``No. 1 Diaoyutai Road, Toucheng Township, Ilan County, Taiwan Province'' as he prepares to sail to the Diaoyutai from a port in Wanli township.

PHOTO: LIN CHIH-CHING, TAIPEI TIMES

After their initial plan to set sail on Monday was delayed, Taiwanese activists yesterday morning finally met up with a group of Chinese nationalists from Hong Kong at sea, and both parties were en route to the Diaoyutai (釣魚台) to protest Japan's claims over the island chain.

Taipei County Councilor King Chieh-shou (金介壽), a member of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), at 9am led a group of 10 people, including two Americans, one Canadian, two people from Hong Kong and four reporters, in sailing to the disputed islets, known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan.

King's boat left from a port in Wanli (萬里) Township, Taipei County.

The group met up with a group of Chinese nationalists from Hong Kong and both boats were on their way to the islets at press time.

The Chinese protest ship, carrying 25 anti-Japanese activists, sailed from Hong Kong on Sunday.

The boat had been scheduled to land at a port in Keelung County and to wait for the Taiwanese activists to join it, but because the Council of Agriculture's Fisheries Agency did not permit the boat to land on Taiwan's shores, it anchored off Keelung County.

The agency yesterday told the press that because the boat from Hong Kong had not applied to Keelung Harbor for a landing permit, the port authorities there could not allow it to land.

King and the protesters yesterday carried a doorplate that read "No. 1 Diaoyutai Road, Tou-cheng (頭城) Township, Ilan County, Taiwan Province," to highlight their claim that the disputed islets belong to Taiwan.

"We will land on the Diaoyutai and stick the doorplate on the islet," King told the press before departure.

King said he initially planned to set sail on Monday, but was forced to postpone his trip because of obstruction from the Fisheries Agency.

He said that the agency tried to thwart his plan by preventing fishermen from carrying the protesters to the islands or letting them rent boats.

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