Two Chinese men who were arrested separately during the past two days in Kinmen for illegally entering the country said they wanted to join Taiwan’s army or the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).
A 43-year-old man who rowed from Xiamen in China’s Fujian Province to Taiwan was detained by the coastal patrol on Thursday on Taiwan-controlled Little Kinmen (小金門), a small islet located to the west of the main island of Kinmen (Greater Kinmen, 大金門).
The man, surnamed Wang (王), who is a native of Shijiazhuang in Hebei Province, was caught in the early hours of Thursday morning while trying to land on the island with a rubber boat, Kinmen coastal patrol authorities said.
He was carrying only 50 yuan (US$7) and a few daily necessities. No dangerous or controlled items were found on his person.
Wang seemed flustered when arrested, but did not try to escape, according to the patrol officers.
Wang said he traveled from Hebei to Fuzhou and then to Xiamen early last month, where he stayed for a week and bought the rubber boat in a bid to sneak into Taiwan.
“I put to sea near Xiamen’s exhibition center late on Wednesday night and I was caught immediately after setting foot on the island,” he said.
He also said he left his wife, along with a son and a daughter, in his hometown.
When questioned about his motives for coming to Taiwan, Wang claimed that he wanted to join the army — which the arresting officers said was the first time a detained illegal immigrant had given that explanation.
Wang was the second illegal immigrant from China to be arrested by Kinmen coastal patrol personnel in two days.
A 42-year-old man from Hunan Province, surname Chiang (江), was detained at the same spot the previous day, claiming that he wanted to join the KMT.
It was also the first time that an illegal immigrant from China has claimed he wanted to become a KMT member in Taiwan.
The two men have been handed over to the Kinmen Prosecutors’ Office for further investigation on charges of violating Taiwan’s National Security Act (國家安全法).
Kinmen is located 280km to the west of Taiwan, but just a few kilometers off the coast of Fujian Province.