Taiwan, China launch rescue bid after boat capsizes near sensitive islands

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TAIPEI — Taiwan dispatched coast guard boats on Thursday (March 14) to join a rescue mission at China's request after a fishing vessel capsized near the Taiwan-controlled Kinmen islands, amid heightened tension in the sensitive Taiwan Strait.

Members of Taiwan's coast guard work during a rescue operation after a Chinese fishing boat capsized near Taiwan-controlled Kinmen islands, off the coast of Dongding Island, Kinmen County, Taiwan, in this handout image released on March 14, 2024.TAIPEI — Taiwan dispatched coast guard boats on Thursday to join a rescue mission at China's request after a fishing vessel capsized near the Taiwan-controlled Kinmen islands, amid heightened tension in the sensitive Taiwan Strait.

Authorities on both sides sent the rescue boats after a Chinese fishing vessel capsized in the early hours, Taiwan's coast guard said in a statement, adding that two people were missing, though two had been rescued and two bodies retrieved. "The waters are narrow around the Kinmen-Xiamen and co-operation between Taiwan and China is very important," he said, referring to the neighbours' cities that face each other across the strait.

Last month, China's coast guard began regular patrols around the Kinmen islands close to its coast, after two Chinese nationals died while trying to flee Taiwan's coast guard after their boat entered prohibited waters.

 

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