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Taiwan — Taiwan on Wednesday suspended the hiring of Philippine workers and recalled its envoy to Manila in protest at the killing of a fisherman, rejecting an apology for the incident as inadequate.
Philippine coastguards shot dead the 65-year-old fisherman last week after they said his vessel strayed into Manila’s territorial waters, sparking outrage in Taiwan at a time of high tensions over regional maritime disputes.
Taiwan said earlier Wednesday that the Philippines had apologised for the shooting. But President Ma Ying-jeou insisted Manila offer a formal apology and compensation, apprehend the killer and launch talks on the fishing industry.
“President Ma expressed his strong dissatisfaction over the Philippines’ lack of sufficient sincerity and its shifting attitude,” spokeswoman Lee Chia-fei told reporters, adding that he would recall Taipei’s envoy to Manila.
She said Antonio Basilio, the Philippines’ de facto ambassador who made the apology after meeting Foreign Minister David Lin late Tuesday, had also been asked to return to Manila to “help properly handle” the case.
“If the Philippine government cannot satisfy our side’s four demands by 6:00 pm (1000 GMT) today, our government will adopt a second wave of sanctions,” Lee said.