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Crisis Watch report includes Taiwanese boats' Diaoyutais protest

ROC Central News Agency

2012/10/02 16:19:10

Taipei, Oct. 2 (CNA) The Belgium-based International Crisis Group (ICG) mentioned Taiwanese fishing boats' recent protest near the disputed Diaoyutai Islands and the subsequent standoff between Taiwanese and Japanese coast guard vessels in its October issue of Crisis Watch.

"Dozens of fishing boats from Taiwan, which also claims the islands, sailed into disputed waters under protection of Taiwanese patrol vessels; Japan Coast Guard vessels repelled them with water cannons," said the Crisis Watch report describing the situation in the waters around the island group in the East China Sea on Sept. 25.

The fishermen sailed about 100 nautical miles from Yilan County in northeast Taiwan to assert their fishing rights in waters surrounding the Diaoyutais and Taiwan's sovereignty over them.

A territorial dispute over the islands, which are claimed by Taiwan, Japan and China, has "erupted into a bilateral crisis between China and Japan," the report stated, with Crisis Watch thus rating China as a country where security issues have deteriorated.

Tensions in the region escalated in mid-September when the Japanese government purchased three islets in the Diaoyutais from a Japanese private owner.

Beijing retaliated against Japan's move by "publishing territorial sea baselines encircling islands, deploying patrol vessels and fishing boats to disputed waters, staging large-scale military exercises and threatening economic punishment," the monthly bulletin reported.

Anti-Japan protests took place in dozens of Chinese cities in the wake of escalated tensions, and an official event celebrating 40 years of Japan-China diplomatic ties was cancelled.

(By Chang Jung-ching and Kendra Lin)

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