Former Chinese navy captain arrested for illegally entering Taipei harbour

Tamsui Fisherman's Wharf

11th June 2024 – (Taipei) Senior Taiwanese officials revealed on Tuesday that a Chinese man, who was arrested after his speedboat illegally entered a Taipei harbour, is a former navy captain, potentially indicating an attempt to probe the island’s defences. The arrest took place in the coastal neighbourhood of Tamsui on Sunday, amid ongoing tensions between Taiwan and China. While China considers Taiwan its own territory, Taipei firmly rejects this claim.

Kuan Bi-ling, the head of Taiwan’s Ocean Affairs Council, stated that the arrested individual appeared “refined and well presented” and had previously served as a captain in the Chinese navy. This incident follows a series of similar cases in the past year, mostly involving Taiwan-controlled islands near the Chinese coast. Kuan raised concerns that this could be a deliberate test of Taiwan’s ability to detect such vessels.

Both China’s Taiwan Affairs Office and defence ministry have not yet responded to requests for comment. Taiwan’s Defence Minister, Wellington Koo, suggested that this incident could be another example of China’s “grey zone” tactics, which involve non-combative actions aimed at wearing down the opponent. Koo emphasised the need to remain vigilant and be prepared to take countermeasures against such tactics.