Taiwan rejects Manila apology for fisherman death

 

Taiwan slammed Manila's apology for the shooting death of a Taiwanese fisherman as informal and insincere, and said it is recalling its representative and will discourage travel to the Philippines.

The shooting has focused renewed attention on fishing disputes in and around the South China Sea, which have turned the area into one of the region's most tense. It has also brought to the fore China's efforts to make common cause with Taiwan, which split from the mainland amid civil war in 1949.

The Philippine apology was made to the Taiwanese people, but not the Taiwanese government, with which Manila maintains only quasi-official relations. Like all but a handful of countries, it maintains full diplomatic ties with the communist government in Beijing.

The Taiwan foreign ministry did not release the precise language of the Philippines statement on the fisherman's death, except to say it expressed "deep regret and apology to the Taiwanese people for the unfortunate incident."

Philippine coast guard personnel opened fire on a Taiwanese fishing vessel in disputed waters in the Bashi Strait off the northern Philippines last Thursday, killing the 65-year old fisherman. The Philippines has acknowledged that its coast guard personnel were responsible, but said they were acting in self-defense because the Taiwanese fishing vessel was about the ram a Philippines fisheries department ship that was carrying coast guard personnel.

Premier Jiang Yi-huah said Taiwan was displeased with the apology delivered by the Philippine representative office in Taipei, citing language that he claimed reflected a desire by the Philippines government to distance itself from the affair. Jiang also professed unhappiness with the source of compensation money the family of the fisherman will receive— the Filipino people rather than the Philippines government itself.

"The shooting was conducted by one of its civil servants, and its government could not evade the responsibility," Jiang said, adding that Taiwan wants to be informed about whether the guilty party or parties will be charged, jailed or dismissed.

In Manila presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda declined to comment on the apology issue, saying deliberations were ongoing.

Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou has not spoken directly about the apology, but his spokeswoman called it "not serious, only trying to placate Taiwan, full of vague language, lacking in sincerity."

Jiang confirmed that a previously scheduled military exercise involving the coast guard, the navy and the air force will go ahead Thursday in the Bashi Strait, in the general area where the Taiwanese fishing vessel was fired on.

He also said a hiring freeze of Philippine workers in Taiwan has taken effect.

Approximately 87,000 Filipinos are employed on the island, many in the manufacturing sector, where their English-language skills are seen as a boon to the island's export-oriented high-tech industries. Overall there are about 400,000 foreign workers in Taiwan.

Beijing has tried to make common cause with Taiwan on the fisherman's death, part of its efforts to emphasize its claims of sovereignty over the island of 23 million people. Taiwan has so far resisted those attempts.

On Wednesday the spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council in Beijing repeated the mainland's condemnation of the Philippines' handling of the incident.

"It is the shared responsibility of both the mainland and Taiwan to safeguard the interests of compatriots across the strait," said Yang Yi. "We have urged Philippines to investigate the incident, punish the murderer and give a satisfactory explanation to the victims."

AP

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Photographer / Floorplanner / Domestic Energy Assessor

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Surrey - £40,000

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Assistant

£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £35,000

£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence