Chinese Coast Guard Boarded Boat from Taiwan Island for the First Time, After Deadly Boat Incident

February 20, 2024

Chinese Coast Guard Boarded Boat from Taiwan Island for the First Time, After Deadly Boat Incident

On the afternoon of February 19, Chinese coast guard boarded a tourist boat from Taiwan island for inspection while the latter was passing through the waters around Kinmen, a group of islets in the Taiwan Straits countrolled by Taiwan authorities. It’s the first time the China Coast Guard has implemented its law enforcement activity on vessels from Taiwan island in the waters near Kinmen. The inspection took half an hour, before the tourist boat was allowed to return to Kinmen.

The inspection occurred five days after the deadly incident killed two Chinese nationals. On February 14, a fishing boat from the Chinese mainland was violently chased by Taiwan authorities in the waters around Kinmen, four people on board fell into the water and two of them died. Both the survivors and the boat are still detained by the Taiwan side as of now. Despite the incident taking place during the traditional Chinese New Year holiday, Taiwan authorities refused to provide further explanation and apologies for the incident, excusing its actions in the so-called “restricted waters”.

In response to the confrontational stance of Taiwan authorities, China has announced that it will normalize its law enforcement patrols around Kinmen, denying the so-called “restricted waters” in the area as the waters have been a traditional fishing ground historically. “The mainland reserves the right to take further measures,” said the spokesperson of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council.


Chinese Military Deploys Naval and Air Forces to Monitor Philipines-US “Joint Patrol” in South China Sea

On February 20, the Southern Theater Command of the People’s Liberation Army of China organized frontline naval and air forces to closely monitor a Philippines-US “joint air patrol” in the South China Sea. The operation was confirmed in a statement released by the command on the same day. The so-called “joint air patrol” was conducted by three Philippine FA-50 jet fighters and one US B-52 bomber on February 19. “The Philippine side brought together non-regional country to stir up trouble in the South China Sea, and publicly hyped up the air patrol,” according to the statement, criticizing the US involvement.

Two days ago on February 18, the Philippines accused Chinese fishermen of poisoning the waters in Huangyan island with cyanide for fishing and discouraging Philippine fishermen from operating in the area. Huangyan Island, a Chinese territory, was continuously claimed by the Philippines in recent years as it is situated within the country’s asserted exclusive economic zone of 200 nautical miles. Prior to the Philippines-US “joint air patrol”, the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines refuted the poisoning allegations as “completely baseless and fabricated”, condemning the Philippines for exacerbating tensions and undermining the bilateral relationship through consistent provocations.


Hubei Province Braces for Cold Wave and Severe Winter Weather

From February 19th to 25th, Hubei Province is set to experience a cold snap accompanied by strong winds and widespread low-temperature rain, snow, and freezing conditions. The highest temperatures are expected to drop to between -3 to 1℃, with the lowest temperatures ranging from -5 to -1℃, and mountainous areas could see temperatures around -10℃. From the 19th to the 21st, gusts of wind could reach levels 7 to 10.

From February 20th to 24th, the province is forecasted to undergo a transition from rain to freezing rain, sleet, and snow, moving from north to south, with persistently low temperatures. During the period from 8 AM on the 20th to 8 AM on the 21st, the northwestern part of western Hubei is expected to see freezing rain turn into moderate to heavy snow, with local blizzards; the southern part of northwestern Hubei, the northern part of southwestern Hubei, the Jianghan Plain, and the western part of northeastern Hubei will likely experience moderate rain transitioning to freezing rain or sleet. Other regions are expected to have cloudy weather with moderate to heavy rain, local torrential rain, and accompanying brief heavy precipitation, thunderstorms, strong winds, and hail.

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