Monday, September 16, 2013

The Guang Da Xing No. 28 incident: Successes, failings and lessons learned

The slaying of a Taiwanese fisherman by Philippine Coast Guards in May brought out the best and worst in Taipei. Here's what happened, and how to better deal with similar crises in future

Few incidents in modern times have unleashed emotions in Taiwan as the May 9, 2013, slaying of Hung Shih-cheng, a 65-year-old Taiwanese fisherman, when overzealous Philippine Coast Guard personnel opened fire on the Guang Da Xing No. 28 in waters that are disputed between the two countries. Taipei’s uneven handling of the matter—under what were admittedly very difficult circumstances—provides an opportunity to explore what it did right and to highlight policy shortcomings so that it can handle future crises more effectively.

A number of factors, not all of them immediately related to the incident, ensured that the administration of Republic of China (ROC) President Ma Ying-jeou would face tremendous challenges as it attempted to resolve the dispute with Manila.

My article, published in the Strategic Vision special issue on maritime disputes, continues here.

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