Taipei, Jan. 25 (CNA) The Coast Guard Administration (CGA) on Monday rejected Vietnam’s claim that Taiwanese vessels illegally dispersed one of its fishing boats by firing a water cannon at it earlier this month, saying it was within its rights to take action.
The CGA said two of its Coast Guard cutters spotted two Vietnamese fishing boats operating at about 4,000 meters southeast of Taiping Island — the largest natural island controlled by Taiwan in the disputed South China Sea — at 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 6.
The CGA’s vessels first broadcast warnings to advise them to leave but the appeals were ignored, and one of them tried to ram a CGA vessel, forcing the Taiwanese ship to fire at the fishing boat with a water cannon.
A report in the Vietnamese-language Tuoi Tre (the Youth) on Sunday said that a Vietnamese fishing boat was dispersed by a water cannon fired by a Taiwanese Coast Guard vessel, but its version of what led to the incident was quite different from Taiwan’s version.
The report said the Vietnamese ship was anchored around 7,400 meters east of a Vietnamese-controlled island when two Taiwanese Coast Guard vessels suddenly approached.
The fishing boat, it said, tried to steer away to avoid a collision but was chased by the Coast Guard vessel and was shot at by a water cannon.
Read more: http://focustaiwan.tw/news/asoc/201601250027.aspx