Two leading members of the US Congress urged the Philippines to “promptly and sincerely” apologize to Taiwan over the recent shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman.
They also urged that those responsible for the shooting be punished and that the victim’s family be compensated.
US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific Chairman Steve Chabot and ranking member Eni Faleomaveaga issued a joint statement on Wednesday strongly indicating their support for Taiwan in the shooting incident.
“A government vessel’s shooting of an unarmed fishing boat is an act of violence and is in violation of international law,” the statement said.
Chabot, a Republican, and Faleomaveaga, a Democrat, were both in Taiwan earlier this month and visited former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) in a prison hospital.
“We call upon the Philippines to promptly and sincerely respond to the requests of the Taiwan government to apologize, punish the perpetrators and provide proper compensation to the victim’s family based on humanitarian grounds,” the joint statement said.
The statement said that the Taiwanese fishing boat was fired upon in waters 164 nautical miles (304km) southeast of Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻) — “waters considered by both Taiwan and the Philippines to be within Taiwan’s 200 nautical-mile-from-shore Exclusive Economic Zone.”
It said the boat was severely damaged and that fisherman Hung Shih-cheng (洪石成) was shot and killed.
“The Philippine government vessel sailed away without offering any assistance,” the statement said.
Chabot and Faleomaveaga both expressed their condolences to the family and friends of Hung.
“It is imperative that these two close and longstanding allies of the United States work together for an immediate and peaceful resolution of this incident,” the statement said.
“The circumstances that have given rise to such an incident must be addressed so as to guarantee as much as possible that such an incident will never happen again,” it said.
Chabot and Faleomaveaga said that ultimately an agreement or treaty o-n marine fishing must be negotiated between Taipei and Manila.