President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday described the killing of a Taiwanese fisherman by Philippine Coast Guard personnel last week as “cold-blood murder” and said the government would continue negotiations with the Philippine government to resolve the incident.
Amid the ongoing dispute between Taiwan and the Philippines, Ma has on several occasions condemned the Philippines for the incident on May 9, involving a Taiwanese fishing boat operating in the two countries’ overlapping exclusive economic zones, in which Taiwanese fisherman Hung Shih-cheng (洪石成) was shot and killed.
Meeting with academics who participated in an International Law Association conference in the Presidential Office, Ma rejected the Philippine government’s comments that the attack was “unintended” and that it was handling the incident in a decent manner.
He said the act of killing cannot be justified under international law, and repeated his calls for the Philippines to take responsibility as a signatory nation of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
“The Philippine government vessel used automatic weapons to strafe an unarmed fishing boat. It was no longer executing official duty. It was cold-blooded murder,” he said.
As the two nations’ exclusive economic zones overlap, Taiwanese fishing boats have often been boarded and inspected by Philippine vessels in these waters, and several Taiwanese fishermen have been killed, most recently in 2006.
“As a decent and respectable member of the international community, which the Philippines believes itself to be, it should abide by the rules of international law,” Ma said.
He cited Article 73 of the UN convention and said a coastal state can employ measures including boarding, inspection, arrest and judicial proceedings in its exclusive economic zones to exercise its sovereignty. However, opening fire and killing individuals onboard an unarmed fishing boat is unacceptable, Ma said.
He said the two sides were now involved in negotiations on the incident, and said his administration would work to resolve the diplomatic dispute via international law.
“We will continue to negotiate with the Philippines and hope to solve the issue in a peaceful and rational way. We will try to avoid damaging our relations with the Philippines. However, international justice and the principle of not resolving problems through force have to be upheld,” he said.
COSTLY TECH FAILURE: More than 25,000 files for nearly 8,000 students from 81 schools were lost when system administrators updated a server, the Ministry of Education said The academic records of 7,854 high-school students have been lost due to a hard-drive failure, the Ministry of Education said yesterday. The records were being stored at National Chi Nan University, which was commissioned by the ministry’s K-12 Education Administration to host a computer server of student portfolios that universities could access to evaluate their applications. Under a program introduced in 2019 for high-school students starting that year, students are to create portfolios to be used for university applications, which include their grades, extracurricular activities and other information related to their character and achievements. System administrators discovered that files were missing when rebooting
921 EARTHQUAKE: The magnitude 7.3 quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged The Central Weather Bureau yesterday received about 50,000 views on Facebook after it posted the data that it collected on Sept. 21, 1999, when the nation was devastated by a magnitude 7.3 earthquake. The data showed that the 921 Earthquake hit the nation at 1:47am, with the epicenter being 7km southwest of the bureau’s quake detection center in Nantou County’s Yuchi Township (魚池) at a depth of 8km. The quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged, with the cost of the damage estimated at NT$300 billion (US$10.8 billion at the current
CONFUSING RESULTS: A New Taipei City worker tested positive for COVID-19 in a rapid test and a PCR test, but negative in a traditional nucleic acid test, the CECC said Travelers from Bangladesh, Brazil and Peru are no longer required to quarantine at a government center, and from Saturday can choose to quarantine at hotels, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. The three nations are no longer considered “key high-risk countries,” as their COVID-19 case numbers have continued to fall, the CECC said, adding that no travelers from these countries have been confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 in the past two months. The revised classification would allow travelers from the three countries to choose where they stay during their mandatory 14-day quarantine, although they would be required to pay
‘TECHNICALITY’: The full moon was at 7:55am, but the Taipei Astronomical Museum said it technically remained a ‘real’ full moon when it rose again at night The Mid-Autumn Festival had a “real” full moon, the first time the astronomical categorization has fallen on the day of the festival since 2013, the Taipei Astronomical Museum said yesterday. The festival, which falls on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar — which this year was yesterday — does not always coincide with an exact full moon, the museum said. A full moon occurs when the Earth is between the sun and the moon — or, more precisely, when the ecliptic longitudes of the sun and the moon differ by 180° — which has a cycle of