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Taiwan retaliates: Expels China’s Coast Guard vessels near Matsu, Kinmen

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As the Chinese ships entered restricted waters around Taiwan on Thursday, Taiwan’s Coast Guard on Thursday drove China Coast Guard (CCG) vessels away and dispatched patrol boats to gather evidence, reported Focus Taiwan.

This comes after the Chinese ships entered restricted waters around the Taiwan-controlled outlying islands of Dongyin in Matsu and Wuqiu in Kinmen on Thursday morning.

In a statement, the Coast Guard Administration (CGA) said that China Coast Guard ships with hull numbers “14607” and “14509” entered the restricted waters of Dongyin, Matsu at 7:48 am, along with China Coast Guard ship “14517” at the outer perimeter.

The CGA monitored the situation and dispatched patrol boats PP-3586, PP-3571 and PP-10037 to gather evidence, issue warnings and drive the vessels away.

Following this, the China Coast Guard ships left the restricted waters at 8:53 am, according to Focus Taiwan.

Additionally, the CGA detected China Coast Guard ships “14606” and “14506” entering the restricted waters of Wuqiu, Kinmen on Thursday morning, flanked by China Coast Guard ship “14502” at the outer perimeter.

The Coast Guard immediately dispatched patrol boats PP-10039 from Kinmen and PP-10035 from Taichung to respond. The China Coast Guard vessels left Wuqiu’s waters at 8:45 am.

According to the CGA, the China Coast Guard ships intentionally entered the waters around outlying islands seven times in May, affecting maritime safety and disrupting peace and stability, Focus Taiwan reported.

These actions are not conducive to equal cross-strait exchanges, it added.

The CGA further urged China to exercise self-restraint and immediately stop these irrational actions, adding that it would firmly defend Taiwan’s national sovereignty and security.

Notably, the restricted and prohibited waters in the area are the boundaries that were set by Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense in 1992.

According to the CGA, “prohibited waters” refers to territorial waters. “Restricted waters” refers to a contiguous zone designated by states to bolster their law enforcement capacity in waters just outside their territorial seas.

Currently, the prohibited zone around the main islands of Kinmen and Little Kinmen extends eastward for around four kilometres, southward for about eight kilometres, and north and northeast for about halfway to the coast of China.