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China Coast Guard Seizes Taiwanese Fishing Vessel at Sea

China Coast Guard
Courtesy PLA

Published Jul 2, 2024 10:11 PM by The Maritime Executive

 

On Tuesday, the China Coast Guard seized a Taiwanese fishing vessel at a site off the coast of Kinmen, an outlying island governed by Taiwan. 

According to the Taiwan Coast Guard Administration, the mainland Chinese coast guard boarded the Da Jin Man No. 88 about 18 nautical miles outside of Taiwan's "restricted waters" area near the Kinmen Islands. China imposes an annual "fishing moratorium" for foreign and domestic vessels in this area, as in many of the regions it claims to administer. 

Three China Coast Guard vessels converged on the Da Jin Man at about 2015 hours Tuesday, Taiwanese authorities said, and three CGA vessels responded to the scene to intervene. The CGA crews broadcast radio messages asking the CCG to release the Da Jin Man and desist, but the mainland Chinese forces did not comply. Instead, the CCG broadcast a message back, instructing the Taiwanese forces "not to interfere."

Meanwhile, four more China Coast Guard vessels approached the scene. In order to avoid escalation, the Taiwanese CGA broke off the chase and left the area, and it has handed the case over to Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council for followup with Chinese authorities. 

The Da Jin Man was taken to the Chinese port of Weitou, along with its crew, consisting of three Indonesian nationals and two Taiwanese nationals. It is unclear why Da Jin Man No. 88 was picked out for inspection, a spokesman for the Taiwan Coast Guard Administration told reporters, as it was one of dozens of vessels operating in the same area. It is possible that the vessel was selected at random, the official said. 

The intercept of the Da Jin Man is one of more than a dozen run-ins between the China Coast Guard and the Kinmen-based fishing fleet in recent months, but it is the first to result in a detention, deputy coast guard chief Hsieh Ching-chin told AFP. 

Tensions between the China Coast Guard and the CGA have been rising for months, ever since a deadly run-in between a Chinese speedboat and Taiwanese coast guard responders off Kinmen in February. The run-in began when a boat with four people aboard intruded into a "restricted" zone in 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.