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Hong Kong activists fail to get supplies in Taichung

2012/08/14 22:48:37

Taipei, Aug. 14 (CNA) A group of activists from Hong Kong was making for the port of Keelung in northern Taiwan Tuesday to resupply en route for the disputed Tiaoyutai Islands, after their boat was denied entry at Taichung Port in central Taiwan, the activists said that day.

"It shows no compassion", said Chan Miu-tak, chairman of the Hong Kong-based Action Committee for Defending the Diaoyu Islands, in response to the refusal by Taichung port authorities to give them supplies earlier in the day.

Chan said the group remained in high spirits despite the rejection.

The Central Coastal Patrol Officer under Coast Guard Administration said the group was denied entry because it has not applied for a permit.

Chan said the group is hoping to get some supplies at Keelung from Taiwanese activists.

The nation's highest security authority decided later that day to offer fuel and water supplies to the Kai Fung No. 2 on humanitarian grounds and in accordance with international precedent.

The decision was made during a meeting of the National Security Council, with leading officials of the ministries of national defense, foreign affairs, transportation and communications and other government agencies also participating.

The NSC meeting also resolved to allow the Hong Kong vessel to sail to a safe port for shelter from approaching Tropical Storm Kai Tak, said Presidential Office spokesman Fan Chiang Tai-chi.

In addition, Yin Pi-hsiung, chairman of the Taipei-based Chung Hwa Baodiao Alliance, said the Taiwanese activists had been planning to sail for the Tiaoyutais with the Hong Kong activists until the owner of the boat they had been hoping to charter unexpectedly canceled the deal.

Before the Hong Kong activists set off Aug. 12, they had said they wanted to reach the Tiaoyutais along with the Taiwanese, as well as some Chinese activists, ahead of a group of Japanese activists who are also planning to visit the islands to make a sovereignty claim.

Meanwhile, Yilan Magistrate Lin Tsung-hsien also expressed his willingness to sail to the Tiaoyutais to defend the country's claim over the uninhabited islands.

The Tiaoyutais, known in China as the Diaoyutais and in Japan as the Senkakus, are claimed by Taiwan, China and Japan. The area surrounding the islands is rich in fishery resources, and possibly oil reserves.

(By Sophia Chen, Liu Chien-pang, Stanley Cheung and Hanna Liu)
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