Our Privacy Statement & Cookie Policy

By continuing to browse our site you agree to our use of cookies, revised Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can change your cookie settings through your browser.

I agree

Both sides of Taiwan Straits call for proper response to fishermen's deaths

By Zheng Yibing


Rounds of talks have been held between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan in the past two weeks over an incident that led to the deaths of two mainland fishermen. But so far, no apologies or solutions have been offered by the Taiwan authorities.

People from both sides of the Taiwan Straits have urged them to take due responsibility in properly handling the aftermath.

Until this weekend, 14 negotiations have been held, focusing on the mainland's requests like bringing the truth to the public, compensating the victims' families, making a public apology, and sending back the fishing boat and the fishermen's remains.

But the coast guard authority in Taiwan has not delivered on any of these requests. The result has been widespread indignation.

"This incident is indeed very big. But they made no adequate responses at all. My comment is 'Unbelievable'," said Ma Ying-jeou, former Taiwan region leader.

Kuan Bi-ling, chief of the island's Ocean Affairs Council, said that the capsizing of the fishing boat and the resulting deaths were accidental and claimed that the fishing boat was unregistered.

But many point to inconsistencies in news briefings, and accuse the Taiwan authorities of lying, misleading and buck-passing.

"Can you close the case by simply saying that this is a negligence? You must get those appointed with the task and responsibility to step down. There is no other way," said Wu Cherng-dean, chairman of Taiwan's New Party.

A report last Tuesday showed that the case is in judicial procedure in Kinmen, but the investigation is led to the negligence.

The questions focus on why the patrol vessel chased the fishing boat for about half an hour, ramming it multiple times, and why the Taiwan coast guard had no surveillance systems to record the so-called law enforcement.

"If you have the sincerity to negotiate, then the truth could be found out. And only the truth will help find the due responsibility, punish the guilty, and apologize and compensate the victims' families", said Chiu Yi, a current affairs commentator in Taiwan.

A vice chairman of Taiwan's opposition Kuomintang party expressed his condolences to the fishermen's families during a visit to the mainland.

"We urge the Democratic Progressive Party authorities to handle the aftermath and find out the truth," he said.

The mainland says that it will resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of compatriots and never allow such incidents to happen again.

"Both sides of the Taiwan Straits belong to one China, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory. The Xiamen-Kinmen waters have been traditional fishing grounds for fishermen on both sides of the Straits since ancient times, and there is no such thing as 'prohibited or restricted waters'", said Zhu Fenglian, a spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council.

The mainland has deployed a fleet of coast guard vessels from Fujian Province for patrols near the Kinmen Island. The authorities say actions are needed to protect the lives and property of both fishermen and tourists.

Search Trends