Officials confirm brief stand-off between PHL, Taiwan coast guards

GMA News
Date: June 2, 2015
By: Reuters

TAIPEI/MANILA—Coast guard ships from Taiwan and the Philippines confronted each other in rich fishing waters south of Taiwan last week, officials from the two sides said, in an incident that comes as they are working on a pact to resolve maritime disputes.

In 2013, Taiwan recalled its envoy to the Philippines, froze work permit applications and ordered military exercises in waters between the two sides to press for an apology for the shooting death of a Taiwan fisherman in waters where their exclusive economic zones overlap.

Last week, a Taiwan coast guard patrol vessel moved in “at full speed” to protect a Taiwan fishing boat and escort it back to safe waters after it had been challenged by a Philippine coast guard vessel, the Taiwan force said in a statement.

A Philippines navy official confirmed the incident and said the Philippine coast guard vessel stopped chasing the Taiwan fishing boat when the large Taiwan vessel appeared.

The neighbours have worked to mend relations strained by the 2013 killing of the Taiwan fisherman by the Philippine coast guard.

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