September 15, 2012 by Water Wisdom
Source： Taiwan Today
By Grace Kuo
ROC Coast Guard Administration cutter Hualien (left) relieves the Lienchiang in waters near the Diaoyutais Sept. 13. (Courtesy of CGA)
Patrols in waters surrounding the Diaoyutai Archipelago will be stepped up to safeguard ROC sovereignty and Taiwan fishing boats working in the region, according to the ROC Coast Guard Administration.
The CGA comments came following the Japanese government’s purchase of three Diaoyutai islands Sept. 11.
On Sept. 13, the 500-ton cutter Lienchiang, which had been protecting fishing boats in the area for three days, was relieved by the 600-ton Hualien 58 nautical miles southwest of the Diaoyutais. The procedure was witnessed by 17 fishermen’s association representatives from Keelung, Yilan County’s Toucheng and Su-ao, and New Taipei City’s Gongliao and Ruifang, along with 38 reporters on board the 2,000-ton CGA patrol vessel Hexing.
At the time there were four Taiwan fishing boats in nearby waters, the administration said. CGA personnel on the Hexing also conducted drills with 20mm cannon.
An official from the Keelung Fisherman’s Association said, “The government’s protection is a blessing to fisherman.” Another from Su-ao, while disappointed that they had not sailed closer to the Diaoyutais, said, “CGA escorts are a great help, and I have complete confidence in the government.”
The CGA’s Maritime Patrol Directorate General said its vessels will safeguard Taiwan fishing boats wherever they are working. “Our cutters patrol 24/7 near the waters of Pengjia Islet and the Diaoyutai Archipelago, so we are ready to deal with unexpected situations at any moment to ensure the safety of fishermen.” (THN)
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