Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Taiwan and Hong Kong activists to head for Diaoyutai Monday

Taiwan and Hong Kong activists to head for Diaoyutai Monday

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwanese and Hong Kong activists will set sail for the disputed Diaoyutai Islands from the harbor of Yehliu Monday noon, reports said Sunday.
The uninhabited rocky islands about 190 kilometers northeast of Taiwan made the headlines again after a collision between a Chinese fishing boat and two Japanese patrol ships on September 7 caused renewed friction between the two sides.
Taiwan also claims that the islands, controlled by Japan and known there as Senkaku, form part of Ilan County. They are surrounded by rich fishing grounds and sit on top of potential gas and oil deposits.
The Chunghwa Diaoyutai Protection Alliance said Sunday it had obtained the permission for the departure of chartered ships Monday noon from the port authorities in Yehliu, a Taipei County fishing village better known for its rock formations.
Alliance Director-General Huang Hsi-lin told reporters that he had been contacting ship owners all over North Taiwan for the past few days to charter a vessel to go and proclaim sovereignty over the islands, but that he received a less than enthusiastic response.
In the end, he had found two ships in Yehliu, he said. The Taiwanese activists would board one, while seven members of a group from Hong Kong and Macau would travel in the other vessel, he told reporters.
President Ma Ying-jeou sent a congratulatory message to a forum attended by the activists in Taipei Saturday, but his government was really working behind the scenes to obstruct the plans for a boat trip, Huang said.
Ship owners were worried about eventual fines or about their vessels being impounded by the Japanese authorities, according to Chin Chieh-shou, a Taipei County councilor who led several expeditions to the Diaoyutai himself during the 1990s.
Taiwan’s Coast Guard Administration denied it had tried to dissuade ship owners from helping the activists, and said it had about three ships on patrol near Northeast Taiwan who could intervene if assistance was needed.
Japan has detained the captain of the Chinese ship involved in last week’s collision, while the Chinese government has repeatedly summoned the Japanese ambassador in Beijing for talks on the issue.


Updated : 2021-05-13 13:14 GMT+08:00