• Sun
  • Dec 21, 2014
  • Updated: 1:41am

Taiwan would 'expel' mainland trawlers under Japan fishing deal

After signing fishing-rights accord with Tokyo, Taipei warns coastguard will protect its zone

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 April, 2013, 5:51pm
UPDATED : Friday, 12 April, 2013, 5:15am

Taiwan's fishery authorities say they would kick out mainland trawlers caught in areas covered under a new Taipei-Tokyo fishing-rights accord reached on Wednesday.

Maritime and cross-strait experts said Japan successfully used the fishing deal to prevent Taipei and Beijing joining together to defend their sovereignty claims over the disputed Diaoyu Islands, now controlled by the Japanese, in the East China Sea.

When asked on Wednesday by journalists in Taipei what Taiwan's coastguard would do if it were to encounter mainland fishing vessels in the waters designated under the fishing deal, the minister of Taiwan's Coast Guard Administration, Wang Jin-wang, said the vessels "will be expelled".

"All other vessels entering the territorial waters of the Diaoyus will be expelled according to the law," Wang was quoted by the China Times as saying.

The agreement assured Taiwanese vessels an intervention-free fishing zone in waters between latitude 27 degrees north and the Sakishima Islands in Okinawa Prefecture, and gave Taiwan an additional fishing zone of 1,400 square nautical miles outside Taiwan's temporary enforcement line, according to Taiwan's Foreign Ministry.

But the deal is believed to have been deliberately worded to avoid applying to waters within 12 nautical miles of the Diaoyus, which Japan calls the Senkakus. Tokyo, Taipei and Beijing all claim this territory zone.

The fishing deal was lauded by Taiwan media outlets, from the pro-ruling Kuomintang China Times to the pro-opposition Democratic Progressive Party The Liberty Times, saying Taiwan had successfully grasped an opportunity, amid tension between Taipei and Tokyo over the Diaoyus dispute, to help local fishermen fight for more benefits.

Professor Wang Hanling , a maritime expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the deal indicated Japan had violated its promise to stick to the "one-China" principle. "Japan was unwilling to talk to Taiwan over the fishing rights because they didn't see Taiwan as a country, just a province," Wang said.

"The deal was made because Japan sought to divide Beijing and Taipei, while Taiwan was willing to co-operate, because the island also has its own political goal."

Taipei-based political commentator Wang Hsing-ching said the deal will harm development of cross-strait relations.

Taiwan's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anna Kao yesterday denied Taipei had sold out "Taiwan's ownership of Diaoyu sovereignty" in exchange for fishing rights, according to Taipei's official Central New Agency.



More on this story

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive



This article is now closed to comments

Japan, for the same reason, will not be able to take these islands. Never.
If negotiation will not solve this issue, China is ready to go all the way.
Really??? Ok, i'll let my friends know. Can you wait until Monday? I have plans this weekend.
Remember to hold it until we are properly erected for war or else you may fire prematurely. Legacies are tarnished by hasty belligerence (e.g. U.S. in Iraq)
Taiwan govt's lukewarm attitude towards the territory disputes has been disappointing and irritating enough. Never thought it would even take advantage of the strife to make benefits for itself. Well, there's nothing wrong trying to gain benefits for its own citizens, but doing so by ignoring and compromising something much more fundamental and crucial, I would at least call this action an imprudent one.
Note that Japan does not recognize Taiwan as belonging to China. Japan, like the US, has a One China policy. That policy is not the same as the Chinese One China Principle.
One China policy is One China policy.
Taiwan is part of China. Any other interpretation is irrelevant.
No matter what anyone chooses to interpret it, or wish it, is his own business, and has nothing to do with what the "one china policy" mean to China and the world. The US has a very clear one China policy which "recognizes" Taiwan as "part of China". The US broke diplomatic relation with the "ROC" in the 1970's.
The UN recognizes the one China policy, and the PRC is the sole representative of China.
Ultimately, China will defend the one China policy with full force. That is perhaps the ultimate reality one can take for certain. Both China and the US, as major powers in the 21st century, will defend this policy.
Whatever Japan chooses to believe is its own business, and will have to bear the full consequences of challenging the policy.
I don't know if this is an accurate description on Wikipedia, but the One China policy that several countries have signed onto may be "agreed" upon in various forms depending on the country. For the U.S., it seems that they "acknowledge" rather than "recognize" the One China Policy, which is only slightly more committal than if they didn't vote at the '71 UN General Assembly. Also, the U.S. seems to "not support" rather than "oppose" Taiwan independence. Purposefully murky thus resulting in slow progress on the issue.
"The United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, .... and Japan have formally adopted the One China policy, under which the PRC is theoretically the sole legitimate government of China. However, the United States and Japan acknowledge rather than recognize the PRC position that Taiwan is part of China. In the case of Canada and the UK, bilateral written agreements state that the two respective parties take note of Beijing's position but do not use the word support. The UK government position that "the future of Taiwan be decided peacefully by the peoples of both sides of the Strait" has been stated several times. Despite the PRC claim that the United States opposes Taiwanese independence, the United States takes advantage of the subtle difference between "oppose" and "does not support". In fact, a substantial majority of the statements Washington has made says that it "does not support Taiwan independence" instead of saying that it "opposes" independence."
"In other words, China will work even harder from now on with an even better world opinion on its side."
Generally world opinion is not very sympathetic to China, on either the Diaoyus or Taiwan.
The future of China is simple. Chinese have the right to swim in the water around the islands.
That is a promise.
What unity ? Who is bully whom ?
We are just talking about swimming.
The world can only laugh at "patriots" who make assertions such as "Taiwan policy is China's internal affairs" or "the Diaoyu beling to China and that is a fact". If only winning every argument was as easy as defining your position to be true and correct.
Here's a news flash: unless China can come up with some arguments that are persuasive to the outside world, it be not able to take any of these islands except possibly at devastating cost. Never.



SCMP.com Account