TAIWAN: Death of Fisherman Sparks Tension with Philippines

BRIAN CANAVE WRITES – A tide of anger is rising between the Philippines and Taiwan after the Filipino Coast Guard shot and killed a Taiwanese fisherman in the strait of the South China Sea separating the two nations.

Since the shooting in the middle of May, media in the Philippines, Taiwan and even as far away as the U.S. have weighed in on the rising tension. In Taiwan, online outrage from teenagers and nationalists trumped big media, while in Manila writers fretted over the safety of Filipino workers living in Taiwan.

Domestic politics stemming from coming elections in each country has complicated things. Eventually the Philippines President Ninoy Aquino did apologize for the killing, but the Taiwanese government rejected it. Taiwan said the apology was insincere for calling the incident an accident, while Taiwan believe the shooting was intentional.

Things have since escalated quickly. Taiwan has begun economic sanctions, including the refusal of any more job applications from Philippine workers. Taiwan’s military even held drills adjacent to Philippines land. But some progress may be occurring. As reported byt Philippines news source Global Nation Inquirer, Manila and Taipei have agreed to begin a formal investigation in the shooting.

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