Chinese man enters Taiwan territorial waters in ‘pursuit of freedom and democracy’
Taiwanese authorities on Sunday held a Chinese man who entered Taiwan's territorial waters in a small rubber dingy in search of 'freedom and democracy'.
The man was spotted near the Coast of Lieyu Township by the guards, Focus Taiwan reported citing the Coast Guard Administration (CGA).
The man informed that he had "Sailed from the nearby Chinese city of Xiamen in pursuit of freedom and democracy in Taiwan."
The man has been taken to a quarantine facility in Kinmen after which he will be handed over to the Kinmen District Prosecutors Office, Focus Taiwan reported.
One of the most militarised territorial waters of the world, the Taiwan Strait is patrolled by both the Chinese and Taiwanese navies. China alone has more than 255 Coast Guard ships and dozens of heavily-armed naval vessels, in the region, according to a recent US Defense Department assessment.
However, Taiwan does not allow people to officially claim asylum, and anyone found guilty of entering the country illegally faces up to three years in prison and a fine of 90,000 New Taiwan dollars.
Tensions between Taiwan and China have been growing in recent months, as Beijing has stepped up air and naval drills around the self-ruled island, which the Communist Party regards as part of its territory and has vowed to "reunify" with mainland China, by force if necessary.
Taipei, on the other hand, has countered the Chinese aggression by increasing strategic ties with democracies including the US, which has been repeatedly opposed by Beijing. China has threatened that "Taiwan's independence" means war.