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Taiwan launches new initiative to make case against Philippines

ROC Central News Agency

2013/05/20 19:35:00

Taipei, May 20 (CNA) Taiwan is preparing to distribute flyers around the world to further state its case to the global community in its dispute with Manila over the recent attack by a Philippines patrol boat on a Taiwanese fishing boat that left a fisherman dead.

The flyer, which explains Taiwan's position and findings on the attack, will be handed out through Taiwan's representative offices around the world and also at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, said Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Anna Kao.

The flyer's content has already been posted on the ministry's official website.

Among the topics it covers is an explanation of why Taiwan has rejected Manila's description of the fisherman's death as an 'unintended loss of life.'

Using the word 'unintended' even before an investigation into the shooting has been completed suggests the Philippines' refusal to take responsibility for the tragedy, the leaflet argues.

Manila's claim that the Taiwanese fishing boat tried to ram the Philippine patrol boat is also 'implausible,' given that the Philippine vessel was six times the size of the 15.15-ton Kuang Ta Hsing No. 28, the leaflet says.

What is needed now is cooperation between Taiwan and the Philippines on the investigation and Manila's public commitment to compensate the family of the deceased fisherman, reads the flyer.

It also pushes for the opening of fishery talks between Taiwan and the Philippines to prevent similar incidents.

Taiwan and the Philippines have engaged in a diplomatic tussle since a joint patrol of the Philippine Coast Guard and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources shot up the Kuang Ta Hsing No. 28, while it was operating in the overlapping economic zones of the two countries on May 9.

There are concerns that anti-Philippine sentiment in Taiwan over the attack and the perception that Manila has not been forthcoming or sincere in responding to it could lead to discrimination or even attacks against the roughly 87,000 Filipinos working in Taiwan.

The leaflet clearly notes, however, that Taiwan's government has given assurances that it 'will continue providing a friendly and safe environment for Philippine nationals living and working in Taiwan.'

(By Elaine Hou)

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