Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

U.S. congressmen back Taiwan's position over Philippines row

U.S. congressmen back Taiwan's position over Philippines row

Washington, May 22 (CNA) Two more members of the U.S. Congress expressed their support for Taiwan Wednesday over the tension triggered by the fatal shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman by a Philippine government vessel earlier this month. In a letter to Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Cuisia, Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis of Florida urged Manila to work with Taipei to expeditiously and peacefully resolve the issue to the satisfaction of both parties. "Therefore, I urge the Philippine government to sincerely respond to the requests of the Taiwan government to provide appropriate compensation for the victim's family based on humanitarian grounds, conduct a thorough investigation into this incident and cooperate fully with the Taiwanese investigators to ensure accountability, and work together on a fishery agreement in order to avoid tragedies like this from happening again," DeSantis said. "Finally, in order for both countries to move forward, your government should make an official apology to both the Taiwanese people and to its government," he added. Rep. Howard Coble, another Republican elected from North Carolina, meanwhile, wrote a letter to President Ma Ying-jeou in which he expressed his condolences to the family and friends of the dead fisherman, 65-year-old Hung Shih-cheng. "A government vessel's shooting of an unarmed fishing boat is an act of violence and in violation of international law," Coble said. "I support your government's efforts to ask the Philippines to respond to the requests of the Taiwanese government to apologize, punish the perpetrators, and provide proper compensation to the victim's family," he said. The fisherman died when a Philippine Coast Guard vessel strafed his boat May 9 while it was operating in waters where the two countries' exclusive economic zones overlap. Manila, however, said the killing was "unintended." To show its dissatisfaction with Manila's lack of sincerity in handling the matter, Taiwan imposed a series of retaliatory measures against the Philippines last week. Over the past week, many members of Congress have spoken up for Taiwan over the incident. They include Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-Mich.), who wrote to the Philippine ambassador May 17; Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.), who wrote to Ma; and Rep. Robert Brady (D-Penn.), who wrote to both the president and the ambassador. Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), Eni Faleomavaega (D-American Samoa) and Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) have also issued statements in support of Taiwan. (By Lin Shu-yuan, Tony Liao and Y.F. Low)


Updated : 2021-07-24 11:29 GMT+08:00