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China Daily Website

Taiwan dissatisfied with Philippine response to shooting

Updated: 2013-05-15 17:29
( Xinhua)

BEIJING - Taiwan's leader Ma Ying-jeou is strongly dissatisfied with the Philippine response to the fatal maritime shooting of a Taiwan fisherman by Philippine Coast Guard officers, an island spokesperson said on Wednesday.

The island has decided to immediately adopt countermeasures, including freezing the applications of Filipino laborers who wish to work on the island, spokeswoman Li Jiafei said.

Following the incident, Taiwan demanded a formal apology, an investigation into the fisherman's death, punishment for those found responsible and compensation for the death and the damage done to the fishing boat.

The Philippine response lacks authorization, sincerity and firmness, Li said, adding that Taiwan cannot accept such a perfunctory and negligent response.

Taiwan will adopt more countermeasures if the Philippines fails to meet the island's demands by 6 p.m. Wednesday, the spokesman said.

The measures include issuing a red alert for tourism to discourage Taiwan people from traveling to the Philippines, as well as stopping high-level exchanges between the two sides. Economic exchanges and promotion, cooperation in agriculture and fishing, as well as exchanges and cooperation in technology and research, will also be stopped, according to Taiwan's executive office.

The shooting happened at sea 164 nautical miles southeast of Taiwan on May 9, when Philippine Coast Guard officers shot and killed 65-year-old Taiwan fisherman Hung Shih-Cheng, according to Taiwan's coast guard authority.

Taiwan previously called for immediate compensation for the incident.

Manila has expressed deep regret and apology for the incident and given a "positive response" to most of Taiwan's demands, but needs to give further confirmation regarding how the demands will be met, particularly those concerning compensation and the authorization of Philippine representatives to Taiwan, said David Lin, the island's chief official in charge of external affairs.

Lin made the remarks at a press conference following talks he held with Antonio Basilio, representative of the Manila economic and cultural office in Taiwan.

According to Basilio, Amadeo R. Perez Jr., chairman of the office, was scheduled to arrive in Taiwan on Wednesday to give a message of regret and apology to the fisherman's family and the people of Taiwan.

At the conference, Basilio said the Philippines understands the Taiwan people's grief and sadness for the fisherman's death.

Basilio said the Philippines will provide financial assistance to Hung's family.

Both Lin and Basilio said there will be a joint investigation into the shooting. Lin said Taiwan's investigators will travel to the Philippines on Thursday.

The Chinese mainland has also demanded that the Philippine government conduct a thorough investigation into the shooting and seriously punish those responsible.

"We are very angry with the incident and strongly condemn it," said Zhang Zhijun, head of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council.

"We demand that the Philippine side take the case seriously, find out the truth and punish those responsible," Zhang said Wednesday while meeting with Taiwan's businessmen in Shanghai.

"Such incidents can never happen again," he said. "We express our deep grief over the fisherman's death and give condolences to his family."

Also on Wednesday, a mainland spokesman pledged to closely follow the development of the situation and firmly protect the rights and interests of fishermen.

People on both sides of the Taiwan Straits are family and it is an obligation for the mainland to protect the safety and interests of Taiwan's compatriots, Yang Yi, spokesman of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said at a press conference.

When asked to comment on cross-Straits cooperation in protecting fishing ships in the South China Sea, Yang said the mainland supports all efforts to protect the rights and interests of fishermen from both sides.