Chinese Fishermen Die Following Chase With Taiwanese Military

Chinese Fishermen Drown in Chase With Taiwanese Military

( – Tensions between China and Taiwan have remained high for quite some time now as China seeks to bring the island nation under its umbrella once again. There’s a dispute about the land and waters surrounding it, which recently led to an incident involving Taiwan’s Coast Guard.

On Wednesday, February 14, Taiwan accused four Chinese fishermen of trespassing off its Kinmen archipelago. When the coast guard approached, the vessel tried to flee and capsized, throwing all four men into the water. According to a statement, the agency said it “rescued two crew members and found another two unconscious… in the sea.” Guardsmen transported the unconscious men to the hospital, where medical personnel later pronounced them dead.

Chinese officials were quick to react to the deaths, calling it a “vicious incident that seriously hurt the feelings of compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.” The deaths came during the celebration of the Lunar New Year holiday, also known as the Spring Festival, by both nations. China has accused Taiwan’s ruling party of acting extremely aggressively towards fishermen, treating them “dangerously” and “forcefully seiz[ing] mainland fishing boats.” Fishing in the area has seen an uptick in recent years; sometimes, dozens of boats become visible from Taiwan’s coast.

The Taiwanese Coast Guard has said the incident is under investigation, and it plans to notify the fishermen’s families through the proper channels. Chiu Tai-san serves as the Taiwanese head of the Mainland Affairs Council and oversees relations with China. According to AP, he noted that the two sides “keep a certain level of contact” for situations like this incident.

Officials brought the two surviving men to Kinmen after treatment, though it’s unclear whether authorities would hold them in custody or send them back to the Chinese mainland. The Coast Guard referred the case to the prosecutor’s office for further investigation.

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