King Xia, a Taiwanese tourist boat, was taking 23 passengers on a journey around Taiwan’s outlying Kinmen Islands just miles from China’s southeastern coast when it was intercepted by two Chinese coast guard vessels.

Six Chinese officers swooped onboard, checking the vessel’s route plan, certificate and the licenses of its 11 crew members in a “forced” inspection that lasted about half an hour, according to Taiwan’s coast guard, which said King Xia had “veered toward” the Chinese side of the water to avoid shoals.

The unprecedented encounter with Chinese law enforcement at a time of heightened tension between Beijing and Taipei startled Taiwanese passengers onboard.

  • Justin@lemmy.jlh.name
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    5 months ago

    Probably not a smart idea for civilians to be randomly veering into foreign countries’ territorial waters. They were less than 5km of the PRC coast, fully in the PRC coast guard’s jurisdiction.

    • MicroWave@lemmy.worldOP
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      5 months ago

      Your comment seems to suggest that the boat was far away from Taiwan, which was not the case. For context, the boat was touring Taiwan’s Kinmen Islands, which are just a few kilometers/miles from the Chinese mainland (Wikipedia says 10 km/6.2 mi), and had to veer toward the Chinese side of the water to avoid shoals.

      According to the article, this seems like an escalation by the PRC:

      For years, sightseeing boat tours between Kinmen and Xiamen, the closest city on the Chinese mainland, have offered Taiwanese tourists a chance to gaze at China’s dazzling skyline without the hassle of border checks, with China operating similar tour boats for its citizens too.

      Ian Chong, a political scientist at the National University of Singapore, said the latest measures are part of China’s “gray zone” tactics, referring to coercive or aggressive state actions that stop short of open warfare – something Beijing has used increasingly in recent years in the East and South China Seas, as well as toward Taiwan.

      The inspection of a Taiwanese tour boat by China’s coast guard, which Chong said had not happened before, was meant to provoke Taiwan and see if it would either escalate or accept this sort of behavior as given.

      • Justin@lemmy.jlh.name
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        5 months ago

        I’m aware that this incident happened on the Kinmen islands, but the article says that the boat had veered into PRC waters. You cannot veer into foreign waters and assume that foreign law does not apply to you. If a Moroccan boat in the Gibraltar strait crossed that 5km boundary between Morroccan waters and Spanish waters, I would think that the Spanish coast guard and Frontex would be boarding that boat.

        I’m not familiar with coast guard procedure around Kimmin, and I understand that the situation is escalating, but it just seems weird to dismiss territorial waters like that.