Taiwan Coast Guard chases illegal Chinese dredgers away

Island of Matsu needs permanent presence of larger Coast Guard ships, officials say

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Taiwan's Coast Guard mobilizes larger ships to chase away Chinese dredgers from Matsu 

Taiwan's Coast Guard mobilizes larger ships to chase away Chinese dredgers from Matsu  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Coast Guard sent a large patrol ship to the small island of Matsu to chase illegal Chinese sand dredgers away, reports said Friday (Sept. 25).

The Chinese ships pose a threat both to the environment and to national security, since Matsu lies close to the coast of the Chinese province of Fujian. Their presence has impacted public transport between the Taiwanese-held islands that form Lienchiang County, CNA reported.

The Coast Guard vessel “Kinmen” is the first in a series of larger ships to patrol Matsu. After a mission lasting five days, it will be relieved by another Coast Guard vessel, the report said.

The usual ships in service for Matsu all measured less than 100 tons, so a long-term presence of larger vessels to chase away Chinese ships is necessary, according to officials.