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Patrols on alert for foreign boats near Taiping Island

2012/04/20 22:08:33

Taipei, April 20 (CNA) The Coast Guard Administration (CGA) said Friday that it is closely monitoring all foreign vessels near the waters of Taiwan-controlled Taiping Island in the South China Sea.

The CGA, the Maritime Patrol Directorate General and the Southern Coastal Patrol Office all said they will monitor any foreign ship entering Taiwan's territorial waters but declined to elaborate, calling it a matter of national security.

The remarks were in response to a report in the latest edition of the Chinese-language China Times Weekly that said Vietnamese armed patrol ships twice entered the restricted waters near Taiping Island in March.

The island is the largest of the Nansha Islands, or Spratly Islands, which lie around 1,600 kilometers southwest of Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan.

The CGA said that since the South China Sea has been reported to be rich in oil and other natural resources, there have been numerous territorial disputes and incursions into waters near Taiping Island by fishing boats from neighboring countries.

In addition to Taiwan, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines also claim all or part of the Spratly archipelago.

(By Johnson Sun and Jamie Wang)
enditem/npw