Taiwan sanctions Philippines despite death apology

Featured South East Asia - May 16th, 2013
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Taiwan has slapped sanctions on the Philippines, rejecting an apology by President Benigno Aquino over a brush in disputed waters which led to the death of a Taiwanese fisherman.

Prime Minister Jiang Yi-huah called the apology “unacceptable” after presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the death of 65-year-old Hung Shih-cheng was an “unintended loss of life”.

“This shows the Philippines’ lack of sincerity in resolving the incident and therefore our second wave of eight sanctions are initiated immediately,” the premier told reporters in Taipei.

These include a “red” alert travel ban to the Philippines and suspension of exchanges between high-level officials. Taiwan also suspended the hiring of Philippine workers and recalled its envoy to Manila in protest.

Earlier, President Ma Ying-jeou insisted Manila offer a formal apology and compensation to the victim’s family, bring to justice those responsible and launch talks on fishing rights over the contested waters in the South China Sea.