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Lai vows support for 'firm enforcement of the law' after Kinmen capsizing

02/22/2024 01:59 PM
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President-elect Lai Ching-te. CNA file photo
President-elect Lai Ching-te. CNA file photo

Taipei, Feb. 22 (CNA) President-elect Lai Ching-te (賴清德) has vowed to continue to support the Coast Guard Administration's (CGA) "firm enforcement of the law" following a fatal capsizing off the coast of Kinmen last week.

According to ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) spokesman Justin Wu (吳崢) Wednesday, Lai, the DPP chairman, said cross-strait maritime disputes should be "properly handled" after two Chinese nationals died while being pursued by a CGA patrol boat on Feb. 14.

Wu said that Lai also expressed support for the "firm enforcement of the law" during a party meeting, and would continue to follow the matter closely to avoid similar incidents in the future.

Speaking after the same meeting, DPP Legislator Wu Szu-yao (吳思瑤) described the CGA patrol boat's actions as "legal," adding that protecting the safety and welfare of Taiwanese fishermen was the correct response.

Wu said she hoped an investigation by the Fuchien Kinmen District Prosecutors Office would provide a full picture of what transpired on Feb. 14.

Feb. 21: Taiwan's military to stay out of China dispute to avoid escalation

Feb. 22: CGA confirms Kinmen capsizing incident caused by patrol boat collision

Also on Wednesday, Premier Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) said active assistance would be provided to the CGA and Taiwanese fishermen to guarantee their safety in the waters where the capsizing happened.

Calling on the relevant parties to cooperate with judicial inquiries so that "the truth can be uncovered as soon as possible," Chen said cross-strait interactions should be healthy, rational, equal and respectful to ensure peoples' welfare.

Meanwhile, Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) said that while the KMT supported the enforcement of the law, he still hoped both sides of the Taiwan Strait could resolve their problems through dialogue and interaction instead of intensifying conflict.

Chu said that the DPP was responsible for reducing the risk of conflict between Taiwan and China, and called on the government and Beijing to decrease hostility toward each other to avoid a "malicious spiral."

(By Sophia Yeh, Liu Chien-ling, Liu Kuan-ting and Wu Kuan-hsien)

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