Alexa

Tiaoyutais controversy heats up

Tiaoyutais controversy heats up

Taipei, Sept. 11 (CNA) Activists from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao said Saturday that they plan to protest to demand Taiwanese fishing rights around the disputed Tiaoyutai Islands amid a fresh confrontation between China and Japan over the group of islets.
Activists could set sail from a fishing port in northern Taiwan "within days" -- as early as Sunday -- for the islands, located 190 km east of Taiwan, said Huang Hsi-lin, executive director of the Chung Hwa Baodiao Alliance, a local organization supporting Taiwan's sovereignty over the territory, on the sidelines of a forum on the Tiaoyutai issue.
Taiwan, China and Japan all claim sovereignty over the islands, known as the Diaoyutai in China and as the Senkaku Islands in Japan, which administers the island group. A Sept. 7 collision between a Chinese fishing boat and two Japanese patrol ships near the disputed area sparked a new wave of controversy and diplomatic tension between China and Japan.
Despite Taiwan's claim and support from President Ma Ying-jeou, who sent a congratulatory message to the forum, Huang said that it appears the Taiwanese government is trying to prevent activists from staging a protest.
"Security checks in several fishing ports have been tightened and boat owners have been discouraged by the authorities from chartering their boats to us, " he said, adding that the activists have been "forced to keep their plans private." Huang said the protest aims to "highlight the fishing rights of Taiwanese fishermen in Tiaoyutai waters" rather than sovereignty, an issue which he said can only be resolved by official multilateral negotiations.
Given that some ports have been "basically sealed off, " along with heavy seas in the area, the protesters decided to announce the time and location of their departure only at the last minute, Huang said, adding that the protest could be canceled altogether if the government prohibits vessels from leaving port.
Seven members of Hong Kong's Diaoyu Protection Action Committee and activists from Macao plan to join their Taiwanese partners for the protest, said Miutak Chan, president of the committee.
Meanwhile, Chinese activists were scheduled to leave the southeastern Chinese port of Xiamen for the islands Sunday for a protest, according to Chan.
Activists at the forum called for Ma and Chinese President Hu Jintao to take a "stronger stance" against Japan over the disputed islands.
(By Chris Wang)




Updated : 2021-04-16 10:45 GMT+08:00