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China Coast Guard Boards Taiwanese Tourist Boat

China Coast Guard cutter
File image courtesy Philippine Coast Guard

Published Feb 19, 2024 3:43 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Monday, just days after warning that it would start conducting patrols near Taiwan's Kinmen islands, the China Coast Guard boarded and inspected a Taiwanese tourist vessel in the area. The official act contradicts Taiwan's claims to maritime sovereignty over waters near its shores, and adds to tensions over the deaths of two Chinese fishermen during a chase last week. 

According to Taiwan's Coast Guard Administration (CGA), six China Coast Guard officers boarded a Taiwanese tourist boat for half an hour. They inspected the vessel's documents and route plan and then departed. 

The vessel was on a commercial voyage and had 23 passengers aboard at the time, according to the CGA. Kinmen is a popular tourist destination for Taiwanese citizens. 

The CGA dispatched a patrol boat to escort the tourist boat safely back to Kinmen, and no further incidents were reported.

Last Wednesday, two Chinese nationals were killed during a chase in waters off Beiding Islet. The run-in began when a speedboat with four people aboard intruded into Taiwanese maritime territory, and the Taiwanese Coast Guard Administration (CGA) gave chase. The suspect boat capsized while maneuvering to escape, and two of the occupants were killed. The two survivors were brought ashore for treatment at Kinmen Hospital, and they remain in Taiwanese custody. 

In a brief statement Sunday, the China Coast Guard said that it will be stepping up its law enforcement presence around Kinmen in order to "further maintain the order of operations in the relevant waters and safeguard the safety of fishermen's lives and property."