Political party calls on Taiwan authorities to avoid inciting confrontation after incident of mainland fishermen’s death
Published: Feb 20, 2024 06:07 PM
A view of the Taiwan Straits is seen from Xiamen port, in East China's Fujian Province. Photo: IC

A view of the Taiwan Straits is seen from Xiamen port, in East China's Fujian Province. Photo: IC

The Labor Party of Taiwan on Tuesday called on Taiwan society, especially the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities to pay attention to dealing with the aftermath of the death of two fishermen from the mainland, to create environment for rational communication and to avoid further inciting cross-Straits confrontations. 

Two mainland fishermen were killed after a fishing boat from the southeastern Fujian Province was chased on February 14 by Taiwan island authorities in the waters near Kinmen, a group of island about 10 kilometers away from Fujian's Xiamen city. Four people on board fell into the water and two of them died. The incident has cast a shadow over cross-Straits relations.

It is well known that since the lifting of the "martial law" in Taiwan island, the Kinmen area has transitioned from a "frontline battlefield" to becoming the region with the closest exchanges with the mainland. With many Kinmen residents working and living in Xiamen, the close integration of the people in both areas is an undeniable fact, Wu Jung-yuan, chairman of the Labor Party, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Recently, some people on the Taiwan island have advocated for turning Kinmen into a peaceful island to demonstrate the dividends of peaceful development of Kinmen to Taiwan society. Their purpose is to seize the historical opportunity for peaceful development cross-Straits, to prevent Kinmen from returning to the battlefield as it was during the civil war and cold war era, and further create an atmosphere of reconciliation and easing tensions between the two sides, Wu noted. 

The incident of the death of mainland fishermen in the waters near Kinmen has added complexity to the cross-Straits relations, Wu said. He noted that the mainland's coast guard ships patrolling in the waters between Kinmen and Xiamen is its first move in response to the incident.

Wu called on the Taiwan society, especially the DPP authorities, to pay attention to the impact of this incident and strive to create opportunity to dissolve the confrontation. 

"Let the historical wheel of peace move forward and not return to the path of the cold war or civil war," said Wu. 

This is a horrible incident in which two fishermen died as a result of Taiwan's rough treatment of the mainland fishing boats. The DPP authorities should have promptly and properly handled the issue, but based on their current performance, it seems that the DPP authorities are neither willing nor able to address cross-Straits relations, Wang Wu-lang, secretary-general of the Cross-Straits Peace Forum, told the Global Times.