Are resources behind the Taiwan-Philippines spat?

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Taiwan-Phil1As an extension of the South China Sea, the open waters between Taiwan and the Philippines are being seen as a proxy to the diplomatically disastrous contentions of China with several ASEAN nations, this time over a completely difference set of natural resources.

After the death of a Taiwanese fisherman by the Philippine coastguard, an incident that subsequently resulted in the imposing of debilitating sanctions by Taiwan, marine life has come to the spotlight in contrast to the hydrocarbons nestled around the Spratlys.

The northernmost Batanes Islands of the Philippines are replete with fish that residents of the 15,000-person archipelago claim are being poached by Taiwanese fishermen. On top of the list, Batanes residents say that the Taiwanese have come close to depleting stocks of flying fish in the area.

“During the times when we don’t see [the Taiwanese], we get 1,000 or 2,000 flying fish in one catch. When they’re around, we don’t catch so many, perhaps only 100,” Quirino Gabotero Jr, a Bantanes resident, told the BBC.

The swift reaction upheld by Taiwan, which has resulted in Taiwanese tourists cancelling trips to the Philippines en masse, points that the fish stocks in this previously unsung part of Southeast Asia play a much larger part of national security than meets the eye.

According to the Philippine government, the 1.6 million fisherman on the archipelago nation catch for subsistence needs, compared to Taiwan’s large commercial industry.

Food security has long been at the center of debate in other Asian nations, namely Japan, who consistently rebuffs attempts by world leaders to scale back its voracious fishing industry.

However, this time around the resources of concern may have sparked a sleeping giant.

When the fishing boat incident first erupted, China was quick to push forward its signature nationalistic reaction, stating that the death of the Taiwanese seaman was in fact an attack on China since the island falls under its list of territorial claims.

While Taiwan has replied with its own staunchly nationalistic rhetoric, now going a step further to brand the death a “murder” with the grieving family planning to push charges against the Philippines, matters could being to spiral. China’s South China Sea tensions may just have migrated.

 

 

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

As an extension of the South China Sea, the open waters between Taiwan and the Philippines are being seen as a proxy to the diplomatically disastrous contentions of China with several ASEAN nations, this time over a completely difference set of natural resources.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Taiwan-Phil1As an extension of the South China Sea, the open waters between Taiwan and the Philippines are being seen as a proxy to the diplomatically disastrous contentions of China with several ASEAN nations, this time over a completely difference set of natural resources.

After the death of a Taiwanese fisherman by the Philippine coastguard, an incident that subsequently resulted in the imposing of debilitating sanctions by Taiwan, marine life has come to the spotlight in contrast to the hydrocarbons nestled around the Spratlys.

The northernmost Batanes Islands of the Philippines are replete with fish that residents of the 15,000-person archipelago claim are being poached by Taiwanese fishermen. On top of the list, Batanes residents say that the Taiwanese have come close to depleting stocks of flying fish in the area.

“During the times when we don’t see [the Taiwanese], we get 1,000 or 2,000 flying fish in one catch. When they’re around, we don’t catch so many, perhaps only 100,” Quirino Gabotero Jr, a Bantanes resident, told the BBC.

The swift reaction upheld by Taiwan, which has resulted in Taiwanese tourists cancelling trips to the Philippines en masse, points that the fish stocks in this previously unsung part of Southeast Asia play a much larger part of national security than meets the eye.

According to the Philippine government, the 1.6 million fisherman on the archipelago nation catch for subsistence needs, compared to Taiwan’s large commercial industry.

Food security has long been at the center of debate in other Asian nations, namely Japan, who consistently rebuffs attempts by world leaders to scale back its voracious fishing industry.

However, this time around the resources of concern may have sparked a sleeping giant.

When the fishing boat incident first erupted, China was quick to push forward its signature nationalistic reaction, stating that the death of the Taiwanese seaman was in fact an attack on China since the island falls under its list of territorial claims.

While Taiwan has replied with its own staunchly nationalistic rhetoric, now going a step further to brand the death a “murder” with the grieving family planning to push charges against the Philippines, matters could being to spiral. China’s South China Sea tensions may just have migrated.

 

 

Do you like this post?
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