Taiwan says it has refrained from retrieving one of its fishing vessels seized by China to avoid escalation


  • China has seized a Taiwanese fishing boat that it says was in its waters.

  • The Taiwan Coast Guard quickly sent patrol boats to the scene of the accident but suspended the operation to avoid conflict.

  • The incident underscores rising tensions at sea between China and Taiwan.

Taiwan is reportedly demanding the release of one of its fishing boats and crew after Chinese authorities boarded and seized the vessel on Tuesday.

Taiwan Coast Guard said Two patrol boats were sent to the scene of the seizure of the Dajinman 88, but Chinese vessels stopped them and sent a message stating that they were not to intervene.

After about an hour, the Taiwanese Coast Guard boats were withdrawn to prevent escalation.

The boat was in the Taiwan Strait, just off the coast of China and not far from Taiwan’s Kinmen Island. The boat was in Chinese waters and was fishing for squid during a period when China has banned it. Reuters reportedreferring to civil servants.

Taiwan is now demanding the release of the crew and the ship itself, while a senior coast guard official is calling on China not to use “political factors” in dealing with the situation, Reuters reports.

Increasing maritime tensions

Both China and Taiwan have previously seized each other’s boats when they were suspected of trespassing, but the latest incident illustrates the growing tensions at sea between the two sides.

China considers Taiwan its own territory and has laid claim to much of the South China Sea, a key shipping route.

Last month, China also passed a law allowing the coast guard to seize foreign vessels suspected of being in China’s waters.

According to NPRChina has stepped up patrols in the Taiwan Strait over the past two years to put pressure on the tiny island of Kinmen.

The island is much closer to China — about five miles — than it is to the Taiwanese mainland, some 185 miles to the southeast. It is one of a number of Taiwanese islands that are vulnerable to Chinese aggression because of their distance from the mainland. as Business Insider’s Benjamin Brimelow reported.

“With each phase, the idea that there really is no buffer between Taiwan and China becomes more and more clear,” Gregory Poling, an expert on the South China Sea at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told NPR.

Grayzone provocations

Tensions rose in February after two Chinese fishermen died off the coast of Kinmen while being pursued by the Taiwanese coast guard. as The Guardian reported at the time.

Tuesday’s incident is the latest maritime incident in China, coming just days after the Chinese Coast Guard’s ruling. collided with a Philippine boat in the South China Sea.

Sari Arho Havrén, a senior lecturer specializing in Chinese foreign relations at the Royal United Services Institute, characterized the actions as one of China’s many maritime “gray zone” provocations, which pose a threat to its adversaries but still fall short of an act of war.

That incident was an example of China’s attempts to ‘wear out’ other countries to recognize its maritime claims, she told Business Insider.

Read the original article at Business insider

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