Taiwan arrests former Chinese navy captain for illegally entering island by speedboat

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale - Senior Editor
2 Min Read

The Chinese man arrested on Sunday for illegally entering Taipei Port on a speedboat is a former navy commander who was possibly involved in the military investigation, Al Jazeera reports.

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According to Taiwanese authorities, the man was detained by the Taiwanese coast guard after he crossed the 160-kilometer-long Taiwan Strait (which separates the island nation from China) in his small boat.

He told authorities he wanted to leave the country. However, officials say he may have been gauging Taiwan's reaction to his strategy.

The 60-year-old man, who Taiwan claims is an officer in China's People's Liberation Army Navy and has the surname Ruan, is under investigation and questioning, Al Jazeera reported on Tuesday.

Kuan Bi-ling, chairman of Taiwan's Ocean Affairs Council (OAC), which is in charge of the coast guard, told reporters in parliament that she was “quite beautiful and has a nice personality.”

Speaking to reporters, Taiwan's Defense Minister Wellington Koo said the boat incident could be another example of China's “grey zone” actions against the island.

The 'grey zone strategy' refers to an irregular strategy of evaluating an area without engaging in open warfare and also includes China sending boats and military aircraft to the self-ruled island.

Earlier, in March, two Taiwanese fishermen had entered Chinese waters when they ventured into the area around Kinmen Island, which lies off the Chinese coast. According to Al Jazeera, one of the Taiwanese military officers is still detained in China, while the other was released some time later.

The most recent incident comes at a time of rising tensions between China and Taiwan and there are concerns that China could use force to assert its claim to the island.

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