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Taiwan recalls envoy to Manila over fishermen killing

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - 14:33

Zee Media Bureau

Manila: In wake of the killing of a Taiwanese fisherman, Taiwan on Wednesday recalled its envoy to Manila and showed dissatisfaction over the apology issued on behalf of Philippines.

Enraged over the handling of the issue, Taiwan has decided to stop hiring the Filipinios, said a BBC report.

At the centre of the row is a Taiwanese fisherman named Hung Shih-cheng, who was shot dead by a Philippine coast
guard last week in disputed waters of South China Sea.

The controversy revolves around the tension in South China Sea, which is claimed by a handful of nations including China, Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan and Japan.

The fishing disputes are common as the waters are claimed by more than one nations.

The apology made by Antonio Basilio, Philippine Representative Office head in Taiwan, has been slammed by the Taiwanese government, which expected a more `sincere` apology from the government of Philippines.

The Philippine apology was made Tuesday to the Taiwanese people, but not the Taiwanese government, with which Manila maintains only quasi-official relations.

"The Filipino people and the government understand the hurt and grief that the Taiwanese people have felt as result of the death of one of their own fellow citizens," said the Philippine Representative Office head Basilo.
Philippine coast guard personnel opened fire on a Taiwanese fishing vessel in disputed waters in the Bashi Strait off the northern Philippines last Thursday, killing the 65-year old fisherman. The Philippines has acknowledged that its coast guard personnel were responsible, but said they were acting in self-defense because the Taiwanese fishing vessel was about the ram a Philippines fisheries department ship that was carrying coast guard personnel.

Premier Jiang Yi-huah said Taiwan was displeased with the apology delivered by the Philippine representative office in Taipei, citing language that he claimed reflected a desire by the Philippines government to distance itself from the affair. Jiang also professed unhappiness with the source of compensation money the family of the fisherman will receive— the Filipino people rather than the Philippines government itself.

“The shooting was conducted by one of its civil servants, and its government could not evade the responsibility,” Jiang said, adding that Taiwan wants to be informed about whether the guilty party or parties will be charged, jailed or dismissed.

With Agency Inputs

First Published: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - 14:32
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