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Taiwan supplies food to HK boat heading to Tiaoyutais

ROC Central News Agency

2012/08/15 21:00:42

Taipei, Aug. 15 (CNA) Taiwan's Coast Guard Administration (CGA) provided food supplies Wednesday to a Hong Kong vessel on its way to the disputed Tiaoyutai Islands in the East China Sea, Premier Sean Chen said.

The premier also reasserted Taiwan's claim to the Tiaoyutais, saying that based on national archives, historical documents and even Japan's official data, the island chain indisputably belongs to Taiwan, in accordance with international law.

Lying about 100 nautical miles off Taiwan's northeastern tip, the Tiaoyutais are currently controlled by Japan, but are also claimed by Taiwan and China.

The waters around the Tiaoyutais were once Taiwan's traditional fishing grounds. The United States took control of the island group after World War II and handed them over to Japan, along with Okinawa, in 1972.

A group of Hong Kong activists were on their way to the Tiaoyutais aboard the Kai Fung No. 2 on Tuesday to assert their claim that the island group belongs to the Chinese people.

The activists sought to restock supplies as their ship approached Keelung Harbor in northern Taiwan early Wednesday.

Responding to reporters' questions about the request, Premier Chen said the CGA delivered food supplies to the Hong Kong boat via a patrol vessel.

The CGA also said in press statement issued the same day that it had provided frozen pork, chicken fillets, vegetables and drinking water to the Hong Kong activists.

CGA officers also boarded the Kai Fung No. 2 for a brief inspection and confirmed that it had adequate fuel and all 14 people on board were in good health, the statement said.

According to Japanese media reports, seven Hong Kong activists landed on an islet in the disputed Tiaoyutais at around 4:30 p.m. (Taiwan time) Wednesday.

Two of the activists returned to the Kai Fung No. 2 and the other five remained on the islet, the reports said.

The five activists were later arrested by Japan's Maritime Safety Agency officers and held for questioning, according to the reports.

The five Hong Kong citizens were arrested for illegally entering Japan's territory, the reports said, citing Okinawa police authorities.

Prior to this, the last time non-Japanese nationals went ashore on the Tiaoyutais was in 2004 when seven mainland Chinese activists landed on an outcrop, the reports said, adding that they were later deported back to China.

(By Hsieh Chia-chen, Yang Ming-chu and Sofia Wu)
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