Ma defends legality of sanctions
By Mo Yan-chih / Staff reporter
Troops watch an S-70C helicopter
flying over a Kidd-class destroyer during a joint military drill outside a navy
base in Greater Kaohsiung yesterday.
Photo: Pichi Chuang, Reuters
French-made Mirage fighters fly
over a joint military drill held in the Bashi Channel yesterday.
Photo: Sam Yeh, AFP
President Ma Ying-jeou (°¨^¤E) yesterday
defended the legality of the government¡¦s sanctions against Manila over the
killing of a Taiwanese fisherman last week, appealing for international
condemnation of what he called outrageous behavior by the Philippines.
Speaking at a forum on international law and disputes organized by the Chinese
(Taiwan) Society of International Law, Ma said the Philippine government
vessel¡¦s ¡§excessive use of force¡¨ against a Taiwanese fishing boat in the two
nations¡¦ overlapping exclusive economic zones violated both international law
and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
¡§We believe such outrageous behavior cannot be tolerated by the international
community,¡¨ he said.
The Taiwanese boat was fired upon by a joint patrol of the Philippine Coast
Guard and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources on Thursday last week in
waters where the exclusive economic zones of Taiwan and the Philippines overlap,
resulting in the death of 65-year-old fisherman Hung Shih-cheng (¬x¥Û¦¨).
The Ma administration on Sunday demanded that the Philippine government
apologize for the killing, compensate Hung¡¦s family, launch a full investigation
into the incident and start negotiations on a fisheries agreement.
Ma yesterday said the government issued the four demands in accordance with
international law, adding that 11 punitive measures were implemented on
Wednesday because the Philippine government had failed to meet the demands by
¡§I do hope [the Philippine government] will understand they have to be a
responsible stakeholder in the international community. Killing unarmed innocent
people on the open seas is not an act tolerated by civilized nations,¡¨ he said.
The government announced on Wednesday it had suspended Philippine worker
applications, recalled Taiwan¡¦s representative to the Philippines and asked the
Philippine representative to Taiwan to return to Manila.
The eight other sanctions are a travel warning that discourages Taiwanese from
visiting the Philippines, the suspension of high-level meetings at the World
Health Assembly, the suspension of economic exchanges, the suspension of
cooperation on agriculture and fisheries, the suspension of cooperation on
technology, the suspension of negotiations on air space rights, the suspension
of the visa-free program for Philippine nationals and that Taiwan would hold
military exercises in disputed waters.
While condemning the Philippine government for its irresponsible handling of the
incident, Ma also called on Taiwanese to treat Philippine workers and visitors
rationally and in a friendly manner.
¡§Philippine workers work as hard as Taiwanese ¡K I ask all Taiwanese to judge the
matter as it stands and not to vent their anger on Philippine nationals living
in Taiwan,¡¨ he said later on his Facebook page.