04:46 GMT08 May 2021
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    Taiwan officials are reportedly investigating an attack on two fishing boats by an Indonesian gunship in the Strait of Malacca, which connects the South China Sea with the Andaman Sea.

    According to Taiwan's fishing agency, two tuna longliners were allegedly chased and fired on by Indonesian vessels as they passed through Indonesian waters on Monday.

    Taiwan's Foreign Ministry tasked its representative in Jakarta to investigate the accident and determine whether it was an actual Indonesian official vessel involved. It is also suspected that the attack could have been carried out by pirates.

    Taiwan's premier Chang San-cheng, in his commentary on the incident, claimed that "Even if it is Indonesia's economic zone, our boats can pass by without causing any damage, so there are many things to clarify… [Indonesia] should not have used violent means against our boat even if the boat was engaged in illegal fishing… I would like to state that this kind of violent means are unacceptable."

    Indonesia pursues a hardline policy toward vessels involved in illegal fishing activities in its waters since 2014. The usual scenario involves detaining the crew and sinking the ship afterwards. Since the Taiwanese crew remained aboard, the involvement of Indonesia remains in question.

    All crew members are reported safe and unharmed. According to Taiwan's fishing agency, they continued to Singapore for damage assessment after the attack.


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