China intensifies patrols near Taiwan waters after fishermen’s deaths

China escalates patrols near Taiwan after fishermen’s deaths. Kinmen residents cite vessel disturbances. Tensions rise between China and Taiwan.

Following the drowning of two Chinese fishermen pursued by the Taiwanese coast guard near Kinmen, China has escalated patrols near the island. The Chinese Coast Guard’s Fujian division announced regular monitoring of waters off Xiamen’s southern coast, adjacent to Kinmen, to enhance maritime law enforcement. This move comes amidst heightened tensions in the region due to increased Chinese vessel presence, including sand dredgers and fishing boats, in an area frequented by fishermen from both Taiwan and China.


Residents of Kinmen have voiced grievances about the disturbance caused by vessels and the resulting environmental and economic impacts on their fishing livelihoods. Despite frequent Chinese activity in the waters near Kinmen, the recent deaths of two Chinese fishermen, following a chase by the Taiwanese Coast Guard, are unusual.
Kinmen, situated closer to China than Taiwan’s main island, is at the centre of territorial disputes, with China claiming sovereignty over the entire self-ruled Taiwan. Taiwan’s Coast Guard reported that two of the four Chinese fishermen involved died when their boat capsized, occurring within a restricted area claimed by Taiwan near the Kinmen archipelago.
China strongly criticized Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party for the deaths of the fishermen and rejected the concept of “restricted” waters, issuing a furious condemnation. Taiwan responded by stating that an investigation was underway and that communication with Chinese authorities was ongoing. The Taiwan Affairs Office of China vowed additional measures without specifying further details. Zhu Fenglian, spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office, warned that Taiwan would bear the consequences of any further actions taken by the mainland. Since the 1949 civil war, Taiwan has been separate from China, but Beijing considers the island, with its advanced economy, as Chinese territory and has increasingly threatened to reclaim it by military means if necessary.