China ramps up criticism of Taiwan over fatal fishing boat incident

Since the fatal incident, Taiwan has defended its enforcement actions, while China has stepped up patrols around Kinmen. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING/TAIPEI: A senior Chinese official criticized Taiwan’s ruling party for what he said was "atrocious behavior” in the island’s fatal expulsion of a Chinese fishing boat last month, as the two governments continue to trade accusations over the incident.

Authorities with Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party "have ignored the safety of mainland fishermen and hurt the feelings of people on both sides,” said Song Tao, head of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, in a meeting in Beijing with the visiting vice chairman of Taiwan’s opposition Kuomintang party, Andrew Hsia.

Song called on both sides to step up exchanges and reiterated China’s opposition to Taiwanese independence and external interference, according to a Xinhua report Thursday.

Song’s statement was the latest in response to a fatal accident on Feb. 14, when a China-registered speedboat capsized off the coast of Taiwan’s Kinmen island during a chase after it

The remarks underscore the continuing tensions between Beijing and Taipei, especially after the self-ruled democracy - which China claims as its territory - elected a US-friendly president in January.

Since the fatal incident, Taiwan has defended its enforcement actions, while China has repeatedly condemned the island and stepped up patrols around Kinmen. In a rare move last month, China’s Coast Guard also boarded a Taiwanese vessel.

At a press briefing of the Taiwan Affairs Office on Wednesday, spokeswoman Zhu Fenglian slammed the DPP authorities for "trying to cover up the truth and avoid taking responsibility.”

"The mainland reserves the right to take further measures,” Zhu warned. "Taiwan will bear all the consequences.”

-- ©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

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China , Taiwan , Fatal , Fishing Boat , Incident , Accusations


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