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Beijing blasts Taiwan Coast Guard for using water cannon on Chinese fishing boats

Coast Guard vessel used water cannon to expel Chinese fishermen from maritime territory

Taiwan Affairs Office Spokesperson Zhu Fenglian.

Taiwan Affairs Office Spokesperson Zhu Fenglian. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — China’s Taiwan Affairs Office Spokesperson Zhu Fenglian (朱鳳蓮) on Wednesday (Oct. 28) called the Taiwanese Coast Guard’s use of a water cannon on Chinese fishing boats "barbaric" and "inhumane."

Speaking at a press conference, Zhu claimed the fishing boats had been seeking shelter from strong winds when Taiwan's Coast Guard “savagely drove them away.”

On Oct. 23, the Coast Guard Administration (CGA) spotted more than 20 Chinese fishing boats gathering in waters off Xiji Islet in the Penghu Islands. The CGA immediately dispatched the 3,000-ton Yilan-class ship the Kaohsiung, and the crew used a water cannon to expel the fishing boats from Taiwan's maritime territory, CNA reported.

Because of the severe winds, the Coast Guard was unable to send smaller class vessels.

Three days after the incident, nearly 100 Chinese sand dredging ships surrounded Nangan Island in the Matsu Islands. The CGA stated that most of the ships were outside the 6,000-meter restricted zone and thus legally allowed to be there.

However, two small patrol boats were dispatched to the scene to drive away four transport ships and one sand dredging ship. The CGA stated that in the future, Chinese ships that cross into the nation’s waters will be dealt with more harshly.

On Oct. 3, the CGA caught a 6,000-ton Chinese sand-dredging vessel that had illegally crossed into the waters off Nangan Island and seized the ship, arrested all its crew members, and forced them to return the ship's haul to the sea. The crew members were subsequently transferred to the Lien Chiang District Prosecutor's Office to be investigated.

Such illegal activities by Chinese fishermen have gradually forced the Coast Guard to be more vigilant.