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Taiwan calls on China to cooperate on eradication of illegal sand dredging

Illegal Chinese dredging damaging environment and fishing sector

The MAC calls on China to help combat illegal sand dredging. 

The MAC calls on China to help combat illegal sand dredging.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — China should cooperate with the Taiwanese government on eradicating illegal sand dredging by Chinese ships, Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Chiu Tai-san (邱太三) said Tuesday (Nov. 9).

Chinese dredgers' continuous crossing into Taiwanese waters is damaging the environment and depleting resources for the local fishing sector, the minister said. He added that the authorities should continue to take action against the illegal dredging while contacting China to encourage it to enforce the law, the Liberty Times reported.

The illegal practice occurs most frequently near the outlying islands of Kinmen and Matsu off the coast of the Chinese province of Fujian as well as near Penghu in the middle of the Taiwan Strait, Chiu said. Evidence of the infractions is being provided to China under previous cross-strait agreements designed to fight crime.

Tuesday’s MAC meeting also included a discussion on China’s expanding maritime legislation, which threatens free navigation in the Asia Pacific and Southeast Asia while strengthening its coast guard into a “second navy.” Taiwan signed a memorandum of understanding with the United States in March, allowing for cooperation between their coast guards on enforcing laws and conducting rescue missions.