The Coast Guard Administration (CGA) said yesterday that a fleet of Chinese fishing boats that intruded into near-shore waters to the south of Penghu have all been repelled, vowing to patrol the region more to better defend the nation’s maritime territory.
However, Penghu fishermen and researchers said the cat-and-mouse game has gone on too long, adding that the Chinese boats are plundering marine resources around islands in the Taiwan Strait.
The groups requested that the navy send in big warships, as this is the only way to enforce the nation’s maritime sovereignty.
Photo taken from Facebook
The coast guard statement said that 29 Chinese fishing boats that were spotted offshore of Dongji Islet (東吉) on Monday, had been driven from the area as of Tuesday evening.
The coast guard said it dispatched two vessels — CG-123, a 500-tonne Kinmen cutter, and PP-10038, a 100-tonne patrol boat — on Tuesday morning on the safeguarding mission.
Despite inclement weather and large waves whipped up by strong northeasterly winds, the coast guard ships repelled all the Chinese fishing boats and would continue to patrol the area, coast guard officials said.
However, local fishermen were still not happy about the situation, saying the nation’s armed forces, and not the coast guard, should take more vigorous action against the increasing maritime intrusions by Chinese vessels.
The incident touched off condemnation over government inaction, as Dongji Islet with its surrounding coral reefs and marine biodiversity are within the South Penghu Marine National Park (澎湖南方四島國家公園), which opened last month, becoming Taiwan’s newest national park.
“What is the use of instituting marine conservation in the area?” asked Jeng Ming-shiou (鄭明修), who is a scientist at Academia Sinica’s Biodiversity Research Center.
“The Chinese ships keep encroaching to poach marine resources with their highly damaging bottom-trawling nets,” Jeng said. “If we cannot effectively control and manage these waters, then it is not a real national park, it exists in name only.”
“The steel-hulled Chinese fishing boats can be up to 200 tonnes and they are not scared when our coast guard patrol vessels approach,” said Jeng, who is a coral reef specialist doing research in the area.
“We must get the navy to do the job. They should send in big naval warships, like 3,000-tonne destroyers,” the scientist said.
“Only warships would put the fear into the Chinese intruders and deter them from coming into these waters,” he added.
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
THE CHINA CONNECTION: As Beijing’s aggression increases, so does Taiwanese consciousness, making a new constitution imperative, Hsu Wei-chun said If the nation is to ratify a new constitution, it must first end any illusions about the current document’s relevance to Taiwan, an academic told a forum in Taipei yesterday. For the constitutional revisionist movement to succeed, it needs public enthusiasm, the right timing and a clear plan of action, Chung Yuan Christian University associate professor Hsu Wei-chun (徐偉群) told attendees at the event titled “Imagining a New Constitution for a New Era,” which was organized by the National Taiwan University Graduate Student Association. The Constitution exists under the “one China” framework and has little relevance to Taiwan, Hsu said, adding that
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up
Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday urged Beijing to respect the median line of the Taiwan Strait by immediately stopping its military intimidation of Taiwan, as such actions would only hurt the feelings of Taiwanese. Beijing should immediately stop making military provocations against Taiwan, Ma wrote on Facebook after Chinese warplanes in the past week have made numerous forays across the median line that divides the Taiwan Strait. Although it has never officially acknowledged the median line, Beijing used to respect it, Ma said in response to comments on Monday by Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌), who said