Beijing Blames Taiwan for Speedboat Crash Death

( – China criticized Taiwanese authorities on Wednesday, February 15, after a boat accident killed two Chinese citizens during a pursuit by Taiwan’s coast guard. The accident happened near the Kinmen Islands, where a Chinese boat carrying four people capsized and threw all onboard into the water. Beijing called on Taiwanese authorities to conduct an immediate investigation into the accident.

Taiwan’s Coast Guard Administration reported that they discovered an unmarked mainland speedboat near Kinmen Islands, nearly one nautical mile within prohibited waters. While Kinmen is administered by Taiwan, its closest point is approximately 3 miles from China’s Xiamen. After the Taiwanese Coast Guard gave chase, the speedboat capsized, launching four of the crew into the water.

The coast guard immediately initiated search-and-rescue operations and were able to rescue two crew members. The other two were eventually found unconscious. Despite emergency treatment, the unconscious crew members were pronounced dead. Investigations are currently underway, and the families of the deceased were notified through appropriate channels.

The deaths were confirmed by both Chinese and Taiwanese sources. Zhu Fenglian, a spokesman for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, stated that the incident was not only Taiwan’s fault, but also something that will greatly affect relations between the two countries.

The incident occurs against the backdrop of the recent presidential election in Taiwan, which was won by Democratic Progressive Party’s Lai Ching-te. Beijing views him as an anti-Chinese separatist. Tensions have also heightened across the Taiwan Strait, with China repeatedly claiming Taiwan as part of its territory and threatening an eventual use of force to bring the island under its control. Chinese President Xi Jinping himself has been recently bringing up the goal of “unification” with Taiwan more than ever before. This rhetoric not only makes tensions worse, but any potential action could risk war with the US.

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