ANI Photo | Taiwanese vessel returns to Kinmen after boarded by Chinese coast guard

A Taiwanese cruise ship was escorted back to Kinmen after being boarded and inspected by Chinese Coast Guard personnel on Monday, Focus Taiwan reported, citing Taipei’s Coast Guard Administration (CGA).
The sightseeing vessel ‘King Xia’, which had 11 crew members and 23 passengers, was 2.8 nautical miles northwest of Kinmen’s Wushajiao when it was intercepted by two Chinese coast guard boats at around 4:47 pm (local time), the CGA said in a news release.
According to CGA, six Chinese officers boarded the Taiwanese vessel and started inspecting the boat, asking for the documents of crew members. Following this, the Chinese personnel then returned to their boats and left the King Xia at 5:19 pm (local time).
The PP-10039 coastguard patrol boat was dispatched to the scene when the Chinese coast guard boats were spotted on radar, the Coast Guard Administration stated.
The vessel reached King Xia at 5:33 pm (local time) and was escorted back to Shuitou Port from where it departed earlier in the afternoon for a tour around Kinmen waters, the Taiwanese Coast Guard said.
According to the CGA, King Xia veered slightly off course at the time due to the multiple shoals near Wushajiao.
The Coast Guard also highlighted multiple incidents from the past where Chinese tourist vessels entered Taiwan-held waters near Kinmen “by mistake,” but it did not board them because “it was clearly not deliberate and instead just issued warnings,” as reported by Focus Taiwan.
Meanwhile, the Coast Guard Administration called on China to uphold peace and rationality and jointly maintain tranquillity in the waters around Xiamen and Kinmen. At the same time, it also reminded Taiwanese operators to avoid going near Chinese waters when engaging in maritime-related activities.
In a separate statement on Monday, the Maritime and Port Bureau said that Beijing’s move was ‘inconsistent’ with international norms.
The bureau also said that if Taiwanese vessels encounter such incidents in the future, they should refuse Chinese requests to board and immediately notify the CGA for assistance.
Notably, Beijing has deployed coast guard vessels in waters off the coast of the Taiwan-held Kinmen Islands after a speedboat from nearby Fujian province capsized off the eastern coast of Kinmen on February 14 as it was being chased by Taiwanese authorities, resulting in the deaths of two of the four Chinese people on board, Focus Taiwan reported.

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