Gov’t calls on media not to play up fish­ery dis­putes

The China Post - - LOCAL -

The Fish­eries Agency (FA) un­der the Coun­cil of Agri­cul­ture (COA) called on the media Wed­nes­day to avoid play­ing up dis­putes be­tween coast­guard ves­sels of Tai­wan and the Philip­pines, as ten­sion built up be­cause of fish­ery in­ci­dents has threat­ened cor­dial re­la­tions.

FA Di­rec­tor-Gen­eral Tsay tzuyaw ( ) was re­ported that day to have left for the Philip­pines to meet his Filipino coun­ter­part and seek ways to cool the heat.

An FA of­fi­cial dis­closed that na­tion­al­ist sen­ti­ment in­sti­gated by media re­ports has caused dif­fi­culty in the ne­go­ti­a­tions for the re­lease of the Der Man Fu No. 3 ( 3 ), a Tai­wanese fish­ing ves­sel towed to the north­ern Philip­pine port of Irene by the Philip­pine Coast Guard June 11.

Philip­pine fish­ery of­fi­cials sched­uled to visit Tai­wan in mid-June for dis­cus­sions of a fish­ery law en­force­ment agree­ment have also can­celed their trip.

Re­gard­ing the Der Man Fu No. 3 in­ci­dent, the of­fi­cial said the ves­sel was de­tained by the Philip­pine pa­trol boat in wa­ters about 11.3 nau­ti­cal miles north off the Babuyan Is­lands, which is within the 12-nau­ti­cal-mile ter­ri­to­rial wa­ters of the Philip­pines.

How­ever, since only two peo­ple were on board, it was un­likely that they were fish­ing at the time, he main­tained.

Re­ports from the Philip­pines sug­gested that another in­ci­dent caus­ing a stand-off be­tween Tai­wanese and Philip­pine coast guard ships in wa- ters 23 nau­ti­cal miles east of It­bayat Is­land June 6 re­ceived more at­ten­tion from the Philip­pine public.

A video clip show­ing the more pow­er­ful pres­ence of the Tai­wanese pa­trol boat that had spread on the In­ter­net has pro­voked rad­i­cal sen­ti­ment among the public.

Some Tai­wanese busi­ness­men have said that the brew­ing an­tiTai­wan sen­ti­ment ap­pear­ing on the In­ter­net has them wor­ried and they ex­pressed hope that Tai­wanese fish­er­men will stop en­ter­ing dis­puted wa­ters.

Mean­while, in a TV in­ter­view talk­ing about the June 6 in­ci­dent, Philip­pine Fish­ery Bureau chief Asis Perez said the Philip­pines does not rec­og­nize the over­lap­ping eco­nomic zones as cal­cu­lated by the Tai­wanese author­i­ties.

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