Tension around the Taiwanese islands after China inspected a tourist boat

Tension around the Taiwanese islands after China inspected a tourist boat

A group of Taiwanese hikers who wanted to take a boat trip had anxious moments on Monday when the Chinese Coast Guard boarded their vessel. boat, King XiaI sailed with tourists near Dadan and Ardane, two small islands that form part of the Kinmen Archipelago in Taiwan. Although it is controlled by Taipei, it is only a few kilometers from the coast of mainland China. The skyline of Xiamen, dominated by skyscrapers, is clearly visible on the horizon.

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Taiwanese, but close to China: tension is evident on Kinmen Island

Local media reported that the Chinese Coast Guard was on board the ship for about half an hour, checking the itinerary and papers of the 11-member crew, while the 23 passengers nervously wondered whether they would be transferred to the mainland. But after inspection, the ship was able to return to Kinmen with all the tourists on board.

Kinmen in TaiwanIt is a long military zone, located opposite the Chinese city of Xiamen. The ferry covers the distance in half an hour.
Photography by Ann Wang/Reuters

Although Taiwan's Defense Ministry says it did not deliberately intervene to prevent escalation — as Taiwanese Prime Minister Chen Chien-jen subsequently called for “reasonableness” and “fairness” — the incident contributes to tensions in the region.

Their numbers have increased significantly after two Chinese fishermen drowned last Wednesday after being chased by the Taiwanese Coast Guard. The fishermen are said to be guilty of poaching. Two other crew members from the Chinese fishing vessel were arrested, but were allowed to return to the Chinese coastal city of Quanzhou on Tuesday. Relatives of killed fishermen receipt This week on Kinmen Clarify the requestAccording to Chinese official media.

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In response to this incident, the Chinese Coast Guard announced on Sunday To conduct inspections In the waters surrounding Kinmen “to protect the lives and property of fishermen.” Tuesday The Taiwanese Coast Guard gave chase A ship from its Chinese counterpart came very close to Kinmen.

A family member One of the two Chinese fishermen who drowned last week during a Taiwanese Coast Guard pursuit arrived in Kinmen and spoke to the press there.
Photo by AFP via AFP

Presidential elections

In January, Taiwan's presidential election was won by Lai Ching-te, the current vice president, who advocates an independent approach to China. It was feared in advance that Lai's victory would trigger a strong reaction from Beijing, which views Taiwan as a breakaway Chinese province that will sooner or later be reunited with the mother country. When then-US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island in 2022, the People's Republic demonstrated through a large-scale military exercise that it was capable of isolating Taiwan from the outside world.

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<strong>Newly elected Taiwanese President Lai Ching-te</strong> (center-left) and his deputy Hsiao Bi-Khiem (center-right) celebrate their victory in Saturday's elections.  ” class=”dmt-article-suggestion__image” src=”https://images.nrc.nl/nRwYrGSjcr8HqQiROy3eB3exRZ0=/160×96/smart/filters:no_upscale()/s3/static.nrc.nl/images/gn4/stripped/ data110167541-5f56ad.jpg”/></p>
<p>But although Taiwan has regularly reported the presence of Chinese balloons in its airspace, Chinese ships and aircraft in recent weeks <a target=Attracting less and less There has yet to be any large-scale military response to the imaginary line halfway across the Taiwan Strait that served as an unofficial border. However, China is putting pressure on the few countries that still maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan. For example, shortly after the Taiwanese elections, the island of Nauru decided to recognize the People's Republic, rather than the government in Taipei, after Beijing promised additional support.

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