Date: May 02, 2016
By: Stacy Hsu / Staff reporter, with CNA
National Security Council secretary-general-designate Joseph Wu speaks to reporters in Taipei yesterday. Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
Incoming secretary-general of the National Security Council Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday said the future Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government would “cautiously consider” the option of dispatching navy vessels to protect Taiwanese fishermen operating in disputed waters.
“Government agencies already have their own modes of operation. As the decision to deploy navy vessels bears great military significance, we must think about this option discreetly,” Wu said in response to media queries on whether the DPP government would consider sending naval ships to protect Taiwanese fishermen after it takes office on May 20.
However, Wu said that there would be no “discount” in the DPP government’s determination to keep the nation’s fishermen safe at sea and that it would make every effort to safeguard their interests.
Wu made the remarks on the sidelines of the second and final day of a “Cabinet consensus-building camp” held by the DPP in Taipei, as the Coast Guard Administration and the Council of Agriculture — the administrative body of the Fisheries Agency — sent a patrol vessel and a fishing training ship respectively on a month-long mission to protect Taiwanese fishermen near Japan’s Okinotori atoll in the Pacific Ocean.
The deployment of the two vessels came amid growing tensions between Taipei and Tokyo over the latter’s confiscation of a Taiwanese fishing boat, Tung Sheng Chi No. 16, about 150 nautical miles (277.8km) east-southeast of the uninhabited atoll on Monday last week. [FULL STORY]