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Taiwan coast guard, military praised for actions near Diaoyutais
Publication Date : 27-09-2012
Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou yesterday praised the Coast Guard Administration (CGA) and the military for escorting Taiwanese fishermen and activists to the seas near the Diaoyutais yesterday to assert the country's sovereignty over the disputed islands and to protest Japan's “nationalisation” over them.
During inspections to several military units yesterday morning ahead of this year's Mid-Autumn Festival, the president lauded the CGA and the Ministry of National Defence (MND) which both safeguarded the local fishermen's Diaoyutais trip a day before — reportedly the largest of its kind in recent years.
“The fishermen's move is a clear demonstration to the world that the Diaoyutais are part of the Republic of China's inherent territory, a land that has been stolen and illegally occupied by the Japanese authorities for 117 years,” Ma noted.
Aside from the tremendous efforts made by CGA patrol ships, Taiwan's military has also been closely monitoring the movements of Japanese forces in the region by having its military vessels and aircraft on standby during the escort mission while offering the latest intelligence to the Coast Guardsmen, the president noted.
“We will not put our armed forces on the frontline (during the Diaoyutais row) but the military has to be well-prepared (if the situation escalates),” Ma said.
According to a statement released by the MND, the CGA dispatched a total of 12 patrol vessels to escort Taiwanese fishing vessels to sail within 2.1 nautical miles of the islands Wednesday morning.
It is reportedly the third-closest distance to the islands that any CGA ships have gone.
The Navy had three military vessels on standby at all times during the fishermen's Diaoyutais visit and F-16A/B fighters and Mirage 2000s of Taiwan's Air Force were patrolling the air near the island's northeastern region as well, the MND statement said.