Gov’t de­nies ‘bul­ly­ing’ Philip­pine pa­trol ship

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY CHI- HAO JAMES LO

The Taipei Eco­nomic and Cul­tural Of­fice in the Philip­pines (TECOP) yes­ter­day re­leased a state­ment to ad­dress a stand­off be­tween Coast Guards from Tai­wan and the Philip­pines last month, stat­ing that lo­cal au­thor­i­ties did not “bully” of­fi­cials from the Southeast Asian coun­try.

On Wed­nes­day, the Philip­pine Coast Guard (PCG) stated that a stand­off had oc­curred with Tai­wan’s Coast Guard last week.

The in­ci­dent oc­curred, ac­cord­ing to the Philip­pines, when the PCG towed a de­tained Tai­wanese fish­ing boat for breaching ju­ris­dic­tion lines.

The PCG claimed that a Tai­wan Coast Guard cut­ter had later ap­peared to block the PCG to de­mand the re­lease of the ves­sel, to which the Philip­pines com­plied af­ter four hours.

In re­sponse to the state­ment from the PCG, the TECOP stated that the short stand­off oc­curred 21.6 nau­ti­cal miles off the coast of Filipino prov­ince of Batanes, an over­lap­ping eco­nomic zone be­tween both na­tions, and not 12 nau­ti­cal miles off of Batanes within the ju­ris­dic­tion of the Philip­pines like the Southeast Asian Coun­try claims.

The TECOP said the in­ci­dent hap­pened on May 25, and cited the United Na­tions Con­ven­tion on the Law of the Sea, stress­ing that ar­rests on Tai­wanese ves­sels in wa­ters close to the Philip­pines are not legal in the eyes of in­ter­na­tional law.

The of­fice also said that the ves­sel in ques­tion was re­leased from cus­tody fol­low­ing pos­i­tive and friendly ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween the Tai­wan Coast Guard, the TECOP and the Philip­pines.

Bul­ly­ing is a False Re­port: TECOP

Af­ter news of the stand­off broke in the Philip­pines, news out­lets of the Southeast Asian coun­try re­ported that the ves­sel em­ployed by Tai­wan dur­ing the in­ci­dent was the 500-ton guided-mis­sile de­stroyer ROCS Kee Lung, while the PCG ves­sel was only 115-tons.

As a re­sult of the class dif­fer­ences, sev­eral Filipino na­tion­als have claimed that Tai­wan bul­lied the Philip­pines in the ne­go­ti­a­tion for the re­lease of the lo­cal fish­ing boat.

How­ever, the TECOP stressed that claims of threat were false, since the re­lease of the ship was suc­cess­ful thanks to the pro­fes­sion­al­ism and the friend­li­ness of the au­thor­i­ties of both coun­tries.

The TECOP went on to say that the in­ci­dent was a clear ex­am­ple of the im­por­tance of hav­ing both coun­tries sign a fish­ing agree­ment to guar­an­tee mu­tual un­der­stand­ing and benefits.

CNA

Pro­test­ers gather out­side a city gov­ern­ment build­ing in Shen­zhen, China yes­ter­day. The in­ter­na­tion­ally known ath­letic ap­parel brand K2 and B-square’s af­fil­i­ated fac­tory (owned by Tai­wanese in­vestors) closed days be­fore with the com­pany manager flee­ing with­out pay­ing work­ers’ wages. Over 500 work­ers sur­rounded the gov­ern­ment build­ing de­mand­ing their salaries.

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