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Coast guards to rehearse escorting fishing boats near Diaoyutais

2012/09/12 22:57:41

Taipei, Sept. 12 (CNA) The Coast Guard Administration (CGA) said Wednesday it will dispatch two vessels the following day to rehearse procedures regarding the escort of fishing boats to waters near the disputed Diaoyutai Islands.

The 500-ton vessel "Lienchiang" and the 600-ton vessel "Hualien" will be dispatched to escort Taiwanese fishing boats to the disputed waters, the administration said.

Reporters will travel on board an accompanying 2,000-ton Ho Hsing-class patrol vessel to view the demonstration, the administration added.

The move followed the Japanese government's approval to nationalize three islets of the island group a day earlier. Japan's decision infuriated Taiwan and China, which both claim sovereignty over the archipelago.

President Ma Ying-jeou said recently that the disputed area has for more than a century been a traditional fishing ground for Taiwanese fishermen.

Ma said that the CGA should dispatch vessels to patrol the area frequently, adding that the patrol service should be conducted on a daily basis during the fishing season.

CGA officials said patrol vessels will follow "wherever fishing boats go."

When facing Japanese vessels in the disputed area, Taiwan's patrol vessels will "neither incite conflicts nor back down from their position," the officials said.

(By Liu Chien-pang, Johnson Sun and Ann Chen)
ENDITEM/npw