Focus Taiwan App
Download

Relatives of Chinese men who died in Coast Guard chase arrive in Kinmen

02/20/2024 03:31 PM
To activate the text-to-speech service, please first agree to the privacy policy below.
Family members of two Chinese men who died in a boat accident as they fled Taiwan's Coast Guard arrive in Kinmen to hold funeral rituals for them on Tuesday. CNA photo Feb. 20, 2024
Family members of two Chinese men who died in a boat accident as they fled Taiwan's Coast Guard arrive in Kinmen to hold funeral rituals for them on Tuesday. CNA photo Feb. 20, 2024

Taipei, Feb. 20 (CNA) Family members of two Chinese men who died in a boat accident as they fled Taiwan's Coast Guard arrived in Kinmen to hold funeral rituals for them Tuesday, while the other two men on the boat were scheduled to be deported to China.

The six relatives of the deceased, accompanied by a lawyer and officials from the Red Cross and China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits, arrived by boat at Kinmen's Shuitou Pier at around 10:30 a.m.

Li Zhaohui (李朝暉), an advisor for the Jinjiang branch of the Chinese Red Cross representing the families, told reporters the relatives' "most basic demand" was to understand exactly how the men had died.

The group first traveled to the Kinmen County Funeral Parlor, where the men's bodies are being held, before conducting a "spirit summoning" (引魂) ceremony for them at Fuguodun Pier.

Family members of the two deceased Chinese men arrive at Kinmen County Funeral Parlor. CNA photo Feb. 20, 2024
Family members of the two deceased Chinese men arrive at Kinmen County Funeral Parlor. CNA photo Feb. 20, 2024
Family members of the two deceased Chinese men follow monks during a "spirit summoning" ceremony. CNA photo Feb. 20, 2024
Family members of the two deceased Chinese men follow monks during a "spirit summoning" ceremony. CNA photo Feb. 20, 2024

From there, they are expected to go back to the funeral parlor to hold a prayer service before the men's bodies are cremated, and will return to China after retrieving their funeral urns on Wednesday morning, according to sources with knowledge of the matter who wished to remain anonymous.

The two deceased men were among four Chinese fishermen who trespassed within 1.1 nautical miles of the eastern coast of Taiwan-controlled Kinmen on Feb. 14, prompting a response from Taiwan's Coast Guard.

After refusing a Coast Guard request to board their vessel, the men fled, setting off a chase in which their speedboat capsized, causing the deaths of two of them.

The other two men survived and are expected to be deported back to China on Tuesday.

The incident near Kinmen, a frontline Taiwanese island less than 10 kilometers from the Chinese city of Xiamen, has raised tensions between the sides, though Taiwan has maintained it was acting legally to chase off a boat that had entered prohibited waters.

China, meanwhile, strongly condemned Taiwan for the men's deaths. It has also contested the concept of "prohibited or restricted areas" around Kinmen, arguing that fishermen on both sides of the Taiwan Strait have traditionally operated in the waters around Kinmen and Xiamen.

On Monday afternoon, Chinese Coast Guard personnel boarded and inspected a Taiwanese sightseeing vessel 2.8 nautical miles northwest of Kinmen's Wushajiao, sparking protests from Taiwanese officials.

(By Chiang Yi-lien, Tsai Meng-yu, Chang Chi and Matthew Mazzetta)

Enditem/ASG

    0:00
    /
    0:00
    We value your privacy.
    Focus Taiwan (CNA) uses tracking technologies to provide better reading experiences, but it also respects readers' privacy. Click here to find out more about Focus Taiwan's privacy policy. When you close this window, it means you agree with this policy.
    172.30.142.20