Taiwanese fisherman killed after fired upon by PH Navy, Chinese media report


By VERA Files

A crew member of a Taiwanese trawler was killed Thursday morning after being fired upon by a Philippine Navy ship in the disputed area of the South China Sea, media reports in Taipei and Beijing said.

The online Taiwan News said the incident took place at 10 a.m. “about halfway between the southern tip of Taiwan and the Philippines’ main island of Luzon, in an area where territorial rights overlap.”

The report identified the fatality as Hung Shih-cheng, 65, father of the captain of the vessel Kuang Ta Hsing 28 registered in Pingtung County.

The other crew members included Hung’s son-in-law and an Indonesian citizen, reports said.

Tsai Jih-yao, deputy director-general of the Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture, said the fishing trawler, which was fishing for tuna, was so severely damaged it lost engine power.

No official statement has been issued by the Philippine government.

Sought for comment, officials of the Navy, Coast Guard and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources said they have not received any such report, a news account in Taiwan said.

“If warships were involved in such an event, we would be the first one to receive the news,” the report quoted an Armed Forces of the Philippines officer as saying.

The report also quoted a Philippine official as saying, “The incident happened in waters far away from the shore. We don’t have any ship over there.”

According to Taiwan News, the Taiwanese government has asked its representative in Manila and the Philippine representative in Taipei to provide more details.

The Philippines, which adheres to the One-China Policy, has no diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but the two countries maintain economic and cultural offices in Manila and Taipei which serve as de facto embassies.

A Xinhua report said the spokesman for the State Council’s Taiwan Affairs Office, Yang Yi, strongly condemned the killing describing it as “barbaric.”

“We are in deep mourning over the fisherman’s death and express condolence over the shooting,” Yang said.

The fishermen’s organization in Pingtung urged Taiwan government to protest to Manila and demand compensation. They said the ship had been effectively destroyed, with its engines and nets completely destroyed, Taiwan News said.

Taiwan, like China, claims the whole of the South China Sea where the Spratlys consisting of some 160 islands are located. Some of the islands are also claimed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia. Taiwan occupies the biggest island, Itu Aba.

Thursday’s encounter happened two days after the Philippines warned China against trespassing its maritime borders after it was reported that China was sending a flotilla, including 30 fishing vessels, to the Spratly Islands.

Taiwan News said another fishing ship was on its way from the Pingtung County harbor of Tungkang to provide assistance to the trawler, which is located 180 nautical miles southeast of Erluanbi, the southernmost tip of the island of Taiwan and still had a crew of three on board. The Coast Guard was reportedly also sending a ship to help out, reports said.

(VERA Files is put out by veteran journalists taking a deeper look at current issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”)

May 10, 2013 1:53 am  Tags:   Posted in: Foreign Affairs, Vera Files

214 Responses

  1. vic - May 11, 2013 4:26 pm

    If indeed it was a PN warship it was just practicing for a Showdown with more Fishing Fleet to come to the Disputed seas. Hope it can fight when the other Forces also start firing their Guns.

  2. MPRivera - May 11, 2013 7:39 pm

    hayaan na lang muna ‘yang putukan.

    happy mother’s day sa lahat ng mga nanay!

  3. vic - May 12, 2013 12:22 am

    Canada and Spain Face Off Over Fishing Zone
    Published: March 12, 1995 New York Times…

    Canada, acting unilaterally to protect depleted fishing stocks, has seized a Spanish trawler just outside Canadian territorial waters, in a confrontation with the European Union over North Atlantic fishing rights.

    “You have chosen a government in Ottawa that will stand for Canadians,” Prime Minister Jean Chretien told a cheering meeting of his Liberal Party in Winnipeg on Friday, a day after the trawler was seized off Newfoundland. “We have shown our determination. The rest we’ll see.”
    From the New York Times…

    After a three-hour sea chase on Thursday during which the Canadian Coast Guard fired four bursts from a 50-caliber machine gun across its bow, the Spanish trawler Estai — which continued to fish after the Canadian warning — was boarded and was being escorted to St. John’s, Newfoundland.

    Its Spanish crew were to be flown home. Mr. Tobin declined to say what action will be taken against the ship’s captain.

    Ellen this was a Case between Spain and Portugal on one Side and Canada on the other and it went all the way to the UNITED NATION…We have won this fight on OVERFISHING by the Two countries which depleted the Cod and the Turbot stock and cost more than 50 thousand jobs lost in the East cost due to Moratorium imposed by Canada on fishing in the Grand Banks and within the 200 miles economic zone which were violated by Fleet of Spain and Portugal .Our divers cut their Undersize nets and presented them as Evidence in the UN and impounding their trawlers full of illegal catch.

    And Although Machine Guns were Fired, no life was lost or injury resulted as our Coast Guard made sure they hit their intended Target, across its Ship’s bow…

  4. pranning - May 12, 2013 9:56 am

    Yes, it is about time that we show these countries you cannot bully us with your monies and armaments. Let us show them that we will defend what is/are ours.


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