Mainland warns of further measures if DPP continues to evade and stall in handling fatal fishing boat incident
Published: Mar 13, 2024 07:18 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

If the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities continue to evade the issue and stall in solving the problem, we will take further measures, and all consequences will be borne by Taiwan authorities, a Chinese mainland spokesperson warned on Wednesday, a month after a brutal expulsion of a mainland fishing boat by the Taiwan coast guard caused the deaths of two mainland fishermen on February 14.

Chen Binhua, spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said at a press briefing on Wednesday that it has been 30 days since the vicious incident took place, but the Taiwan authorities have not yet given a convincing account of the process and the truth of the incident. He said the DPP authorities' previous responses to public doubts "were inconsistent, full of loopholes."

With a stubborn adherence to "Taiwan independence" position and a confrontational mind-set, DPP authorities disregard the historical fact that fishermen from both sides operate in traditional fishing areas in the Taiwan Straits, and their violent and dangerous treatment of mainland fishermen was the main reason for the fatal incident, Chen said.  

But so far, the family members of victims have not received an apology, nor have they been offered a single piece of the truth, as Taiwan authorities are still delaying the resolution by means of so-called investigation procedures, and shirking its responsibility by means of "law enforcement." This is truly heartless, ruthless and unjustifiable, Chen remarked. 

Also on Wednesday, Kuan Bi-ling, head of Taiwan's "ocean affairs council," apologized for their poor handling, saying there is no on-site video for the probe, which has made them unable to win public trust and caused the families of the victims to suffer for so long.  

Since the fatal incident took place on February 14, there have been 15 rounds of cross-Straits negotiations, but so far no broad consensus has been reached. Mainland personnel have returned to Quanzhou, East China's Fujian Province.

After the 15th round of talks, Taiwan's coast guard department on March 5 accused the mainland of making demands that were "not in line with the legal system of the Taiwan side," making it impossible for the two sides to reach a consensus. 

In response, Chen said that only when the DPP authorities correct their attitude and show sincerity in solving the problem can the consultation on the incident be restarted. 

If the DPP authorities keep evading the issue and stall for time, we will take further measures and all consequences will be borne by the Taiwan authorities, Chen stressed. 

Nearly a month after the fishing boat incident, the mainland is warning Taiwan authorities that the matter is not over yet and that there is no chance for them to muddle through, Zhang Wensheng, deputy dean of the Taiwan Research Institute at Xiamen University, told the Global Times.

According to Zhang, the mainland's demand is clear, that is asking Taiwan authorities to clarify the truth, punish the murderer, apologize to the families of the victims and pay compensation. But the Taiwan authorities are only willing to negotiate on monetary compensation while dragging on other parts. 

Chen told media that the measures the Chinese mainland will take subsequently depend on the attitude of the DPP authorities in dealing with the incident and how they respond to the families of the victims and concerns from compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Straits. 

The relevant judicial departments of the mainland may, in accordance with the law, issue wanted notice for the relevant Taiwan coast guard personnel and punish them for violating human rights and illegally depriving others' lives, Zhang said. 

In addition to the current coast guard patrol and fishing escort operations, the mainland coast guard can also regulate and restrict Taiwan's coast guard vessels and personnel when necessary, Zhang said. 

We will not tolerate or condone the brutal acts of the DPP authorities, which disregard the lives and properties of mainland fishermen and hurt the feelings of compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Straits, Chen said at the press briefing.

We once again solemnly demand that the Taiwan authorities to make public the truth as soon as possible, severely punish those responsible, apologize to the families of the victims, meet the reasonable demands of the victims' families, and give an explanation to them and compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Straits, Chen remarked.