TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Coast Guard Administration (CGA) 9th (Kinmen) Offshore Flotilla on Thursday (March 19) reported that its vessels were attacked by more than 10 Chinese speedboats, which hurled rocks, bottles and rammed the cutters.
The CGA said the skirmish resulted in multi-task offshore patrol cutter CP-1022 suffering damage to two of three outboard motors after the Chinese speedboats rammed into it, reported Liberty Times. The CGA demanded that China track down the culprits, arrest them, and compensate Taiwan for the damages.
At about 9 a.m. on March 16, as patrol cutters CP-1022 and CP-2006, along with three Taiwanese fishing boats, were driving off Chinese fishing vessels and removing illegal fishing nets, more than 10 unmarked Chinese speedboats rushed in and began hurling rocks and beer bottles at the CGA craft. During the skirmish, CP-1022, which had begun active duty on March 13 and cost NT$6 million (US$197,000) to build, was intentionally rammed from behind by the speedboats.
Chinese speedboats (center and right), CGA cutter (second from left). (CGA photo)
To fend off the Chinese speedboats, CGA officers hurled six stun grenades and fired five bean bag rounds at the Chinese crews, prompting them to beat a hasty retreat. One CGA officer was quoted by Liberty Times as saying, "We've never seen more than 10 Chinese speedboats swarm and aggressively attack like this."
In the process, two outboard motors, valued at NT$600,000 each, were badly damaged and shards of broken bottles littered the cutter's deck. No CGA personnel were injured during the assault.
Chen Chien-wen (陳建文), director of the CGA's 9th Offshore Flotilla in Kinmen, said the incident occurred on the median line in the Taiwan Strait, according to the report. Chen said that during the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the CGA will not hesitate to drive away foreign intruders and protect Taiwan from the disease.
The CGA shipped two new outboard motors from Kaohsiung to Kinmen to replace the damaged ones on CP-1022, reported Apple Daily. The cutter is expected to resume service on Monday (March 23), when it will continue to defend Taiwan's waters against illegal fishing and help protect Taiwan's borders from the spread of COVID-19.
CGA cutter (foreground) as Chinese speedboats lurk behind. (CGA)
Chinese speedboat (right) races toward CGA cutter (second from left). (CGA image)
CGA officer points out damage to CP-1022's outboard motors. (CNA photo)
Chen pointing out the location of incident. (CNA photo)