Taiwanese authorities say a Chinese man escaped in a rubber dinghy to reach the island nation of Taiwan, not getting detected. Both the police and military are said to be investigating after receiving reports from the public.
Unknown Chinese man escapes in rubber dinghy going to Taiwan
According to Taiwan's Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng, who revealed on May 3, the navy and maritime patrol never saw a Chinese national enter Taiwanese waters. Some locals are not buying it and say it might be more than a smuggling case, reported the Epoch Times.
Zhou, a 33-year-old Chinese man, told officials that he sailed from Fujian, China, at 10 a.m. on April 30 and headed straight to Taiwan to be free. Zhou traveled an estimated 100 miles, or 160 kilometers before reaching Taiwan.
His military-grade rubber dinghy was purchased from China's online shopping website Taobao with a motor that he installed. Altogether, it cost him 16,000 yuan (about $2,500). Buying 90 liters (almost 24 gallons) of fuel for the trip.
According to Chinese language media reports, the Chinese man escaped in a rubble dinghy crossing the Taiwan Strait undetected by PLA and Taiwanese navy, maritime patrols, and shore patrols mentioned the Guardian.
He saw people walking for two hours at the Taichung Port and asked for assistance. The employees gave food to him and supplied him with garments. After hearing that Zhou had sailed through the Taiwan Strait coming from the mainland of China, they called the police, cited the Washington Post.
It is 100 nautical miles from Shishi, Fujian, to Taichung Port. The rubber boat can travel at speeds of more than 10 knots and delivers in around 10 hours. Local fishermen said sailing has become simpler as the weather has changed over the last few days.
But the Story of Zhou and how he got to Taiwan is not taken at face value by politicians and military experts; his smuggling story is not good enough. It is especially concerning for both governments if there are obvious lapses in their security. The Taiwan Strait is one of the most heavily guarded waterways in the world.
An alleged video, reportedly unreleased by Taiwanese authorities, shows officials interrogating the Chinese defector about his rubber boat.
In a Legislative Yuan meeting on May 3, Taiwanese Democratic Progressive Party legislator Wang Ting-yu questioned the incident, questioning the possibilites of the rubber boat came directly from Fujian.
Members of the Marine Patrol Department and the Taichung Port Police Corps are probing, and various options are now being explored, according to Hu Muyuan, deputy director of the National Security Bureau.
Saying the Marine Patrol Agency's radar could detect this type of small rubber boat. However, the navy's shore-mounted radar cannot, said Rear Admiral Chiang Cheng-kuo, Chief of Staff of Taiwan's Naval Command.
Kuo-cheng suggested a loophole in the navy and the maritime patrol's operations, which allowed the Chinese man to escape in a rubber dinghy and reach Taiwan.