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TAIWAN REJECTS MANILA APOLOGY FOR FISHERMAN DEATH

TAIPEI, Taiwan  — Taiwan slammed Manila's apology for the shooting death of a Taiwanese fisherman as informal and insincere, and said Wednesday it is recalling its representative and will discourage travel to the Philippines.
The shooting has focused renewed attention on fishing disputes in and around the South China Sea, which have turned the area into one of the region's most tense. 
  • It has also brought to the fore China's efforts to make common cause with Taiwan, which split from the mainland amid civil war in 1949.
  • The Philippine apology was made Tuesday to the Taiwanese people, but not the Taiwanese government, with which Manila maintains only quasi-official relations. Like all but a handful of countries, it maintains full diplomatic ties with the communist government in Beijing.
  • The Taiwan foreign ministry did not release the precise language of the Philippines statement on the fisherman's death, except to say it expressed "deep regret and apology to the Taiwanese people for the unfortunate incident."
  • 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.

Source: Philstar...More...
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