TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — After over 100 Chinese ships illegally dredged sand near Taiwan’s outlying island of Matsu, both countries reached an agreement to battle the problem together, Taiwan’s Coast Guard Administration (CGA) said Tuesday (Dec. 22).
The presence of the Chinese sand dredgers last September caused concern in Taiwan over the environment and national security, as Matsu lies close to the coast of the Chinese province of Fujian.
However, in its latest interpretation of the issue, the CGA said the dredging was not politically motivated but purely a case of illegal profit-seeking, the Liberty Times reported.
The two sides worked out a standard operating procedure, so if the problem occurs again, Taiwan can call the Chinese side to act against the dredgers, according to the CGA.
The cooperation has already shown results for Taiwan’s other island close to Fujian, Kinmen, and will also apply to Matsu. The Chinese authorities took action in 64 cases and impounded 23 ships, showing they were serious about the problem, the CGA said.