DEATH AND DEMONSTRATIONS MARK HISTORY OF CONTROVERSY
September 22, 1996: The Kien Hwa No 2, a Belize-registered tanker, carried 16 activists from the Alliance of Worldwide Chinese for the Protection of Diaoyu Islands and 42 journalists to the Diaoyu Islands. The venture was aborted when David Chan Yuk-cheung drowned on September 26.
September 23, 1996: Hong Kong protesters from the Action Committee for Defending the Diaoyu Islands claimed a moral victory after breaking through the Japanese blockade and getting within 70 metres of the isles. The 10 Hong Kong people, including then legislators Albert Ho Chun-yan and Tsang Kin-shing, were on board two 20-metre boats with six Taiwan activists.
October 7, 1996: Hong Kong resident Chan Yu-nam set foot on the Diaoyus with two Taiwanese, planting the flags of China and Taiwan on the islands. The activists were among 300 protesters on board 40 vessels from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau.
May 26: Diaoyu activists aborted a plan to land on the disputed islands after their boat Diao Yu Tai collided with Japanese security vessels. Before aborting the trip, activists Lai Kwok-tai and Fong Kam-wah jumped aboard a Japanese launch. Mr Fong was detained, but Mr Lai managed to scramble up the radar mast and raise two fingers in a victory sign before being restrained. Japanese coastguards rammed two Hong Kong press boats.