Mainland Chinese Claiming to Be Former Navy Captain Breaches Taiwan’s Defenses Aboard Speedboat

Ruan, who claims to be a former mainland Chinese navy captain, said he left the port of Ningde in the mainland coastal city of Fuzhou on Saturday morning. However, the Taiwan Coast Guard said no food or drink was found on the boat and the man did not appear tanned.

According to the coast guard, the man said he had been persecuted by mainland authorities for “making inappropriate statements” and wanted to flee to Taiwan.

The incident sparked concerns in Taiwan, with New Taipei Mayor Hou You-yi calling it a serious security lapse, especially since the pier is less than 10 minutes from Taipei by boat.

“National border security cannot afford any failure. This incident indicates that the coast guard and frontline security reporting mechanisms were not managed effectively,” he said.

Chen Kuan-ting, a lawmaker from the ruling pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), said such illegal entries occurred more often in Quemoy, also called Kinmen – a Taiwan defense outpost located just 10 km from the mainland city of Xiamen.

“Now this has also happened in key defense areas in Taiwan proper and may become more frequent in the future,” Chen said.

He urged the government to “strengthen inter-agency cooperation by integrating the resources of the Coast Guard, Navy and Army to effectively prevent similar incidents from occurring in the first place.”

Kuan Bi-ling, head of Taiwan’s Maritime Affairs Council, which oversees the coast guard, acknowledged the role of human error and a safety lapse in the incident.

She said the boat was detected by radar 6 nautical miles off Tamsui.

“The radar system was not the cause; the problem lies in human error,” Kuan said. “The radar operators, drawing on their experience, incorrectly identified the boat as a returning fishing boat.”

Kuan said radar operators reported the vessel’s proximity to coastal monitoring posts when it reached 6, 3 and 0.5 nautical miles off the Tamsui River.

However, when the last monitoring post realized the vessel was not a Taiwanese fishing boat, operators did not promptly alert the coast guard to intercept the speedboat, Kuan said.

“There was a 30-minute delay” before the man was apprehended, she said.

“This incident reflects a complete failure,” Kuan admitted while emphasizing the importance of integrating more technology to avoid such events in the future.

She also highlighted the need to address possible systematic testing by Beijing, such as employing small boats to challenge the island’s coastal defenses.

As for whether the man was actually seeking freedom in Taiwan, Kuan said many people who entered Taiwan illegally often make such claims, and it was up to prosecutors to determine.

However, she said that in the current case under investigation, “the individual appears distinct.”

“He presents himself as refined and well-dressed, with a unique background, having served in the navy and as a ship captain.”

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Mainland China launches PLA blockade around Taiwan, 3 days after William Lai’s speech

Mainland China launches PLA blockade around Taiwan, 3 days after William Lai’s speech

Tensions across the Taiwan Strait escalated after the DPP’s election. William Lai Ching-te as the new leader of the island. In his inaugural speech on May 20Lai said Taiwan and the mainland “are not subordinate to each other.”

This declaration was quickly followed by the People’s Liberation Army launching two days of large-scale military exercises simulating a blockade of the island. Beijing called it “a harsh punishment for the separatist acts of ‘Taiwan independence’ forces.”

Beijing views Taiwan as part of its territory that must be reunified by force if necessary. Most countries, including the United States – the island’s largest arms supplier – do not recognize Taiwan’s independence, but oppose any unilateral change by force to the status quo between the two shores of the strait.

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