Taiwan says China seizure of trawler may be act of psychological warfare

by Admin
Taiwan says China seizure of trawler may be act of psychological warfare

Speaking to reporters in parliament earlier in the day, Taiwan National Security Bureau Director-General Tsai Ming-yen said it was unusual for Chinese officials to board and then detain a Taiwanese trawler, and noted China’s explanation that it was illegally fishing.

But China may also have done this to demonstrate its jurisdiction over the strait and put pressure on Taiwan’s government, he added.

“We must continue to analyse whether this is a cognitive warfare operation, and will fully assess what the motivations are for the Chinese communists,” Tsai said.

China has seized Taiwanese trawlers before for illegal fishing but released them after a fine was paid, Taiwan’s coast guard said.

Late on Wednesday, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said the seizure of the boat was an act of “normal law enforcement” to protect fishery resources and the environment given the illegal fishing it was carrying out.

“The relevant departments will deal with it in accordance with the law and regulations,” it said in a statement.

Three of the five fishermen on board are Indonesian nationals, according to Taiwan’s coast guard.

China says it has sovereignty over the strait. Both Taiwan and the United States say it is an international waterway.

Taiwan has complained for four years of stepped-up Chinese “grey zone” activities attempting to wear down Taiwan with offensive actions that stop short of full-blown conflict, like flying balloons over Taiwan. 

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