Philip­pines fish­ery meet­ing may be post­poned: of­fi­cial

The China Post - - LOCAL -

A meet­ing be­tween Tai­wanese and Philip­pine of­fi­cials in charge of fish­ery poli­cies sched­uled for June 14-18 in Taipei might be post­poned in the wake of an in­ci­dent in May that took place in the over­lap­ping eco­nomic zones of the two coun­tries, Huang Hung-yen, deputy direc­tor of the Fish­eries Agency un­der the Coun­cil of Agri­cul­ture, said Tues­day.

Huang said the Philip­pine of­fi­cials might not at­tend the meet­ing be­cause the in­ci­dent has given rise to new con­tro­versy in bi­lat­eral re­la­tions.

On May 25, a pa­trol boat of the Tai­wan Coast Guard Ad­min­is­tra­tion (CGA) was in­formed that Tai­wanese fish­ing boat the Ming Chin Tsai No.6 had been in­ter­cepted by a Philip­pine pa­trol boat.

While the Philip­pine Navy claimed to have the legal author­ity over the wa­ters in ques­tion and was try­ing to force the Tai­wanese ves­sel to agree to be towed to a Philip­pine port, the CGA ves­sel rushed to the scene to pro­tect the Tai­wanese boat in the over­lap­ping eco­nomic zone­sof the two coun­tries.

Af­ter four hours of ne­go­ti­a­tions, the Philip­pine ves­sel even­tu­ally agreed not to tow the Ming Chin Tsai No. 6.

Although the in­ci­dent did not es­ca­late to a con­fronta­tion, the sen­si­tive is­sue in­creased the ten­sion be­tween the two coun­tries.

Huang said that to avoid fur­ther fish­ery dis­putes, it is hoped that Tai­wan and the Philip­pines can work out an agree­ment mod­eled upon the Tai­wanJa­pan fish­ery agree­ment so as to pro­vide guide­lines for the en­force­ment of legal rights.

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