China defends actions against Philippines

Updated 22 April 2015

China defends actions against Philippines

BEIJING: China on Wednesday defended the actions of its vessels in the disputed South China Sea after the Philippines accused China’s coast guard of using water cannon on Philippine fishing boats and urged Manila to increase its “education” of its fishermen.
Filipino fishermen said that China’s coast guard boarded their fishing boats and threw away fish catch and fishing gear last week after spraying them with water in a disputed shoal in the South China Sea.
The presidential palace in Manila said China’s coast guard used water cannon on Monday to drive away a group of Filipino fishermen at Scarborough Shoal, damaging some of their wooden boats. Chinese ships rammed a fishing boat in the area a few months ago.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei did not directly confirm whether water cannon was used. He said that “official Chinese vessels in waters near the Huangyan island carried out their duties and managed the relevant waters according to law,” using the Chinese name for Scarborough Shoal.
“Recently, many Philippine fishing boats disobeyed China’s administration and gathered illegally in Huangyan Island waters, violating China’s sovereignty and maritime rights and interests,” Hong said.
“We demand that the Philippine side increase its education and control of its fishermen, and cease all behavior that violates China’s sovereignty and rights and interests.”
Philippine and US Marines took part in their biggest combined military exercise in 15 years this week, a demonstration of Washington’s commitment to its longtime ally as it rebalances to Asia.
China claims most of the potentially energy-rich South China Sea, with overlapping claims from the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan, and denies charges its actions in what it says is its own territory are provocative.
Gilbert Baoya, a 58-year-old fisherman from Pangasinan province in the Philippines, told Reuters that armed men from China’s coast guard cut his boat’s ropes, which were tied to the shoal.
“We were terrified,” he said. “We couldn’t do anything.”
China’s coast guard used bull horns to drive the fishermen away, telling them to stop fishing, said Efren Montehermido, a 20-year-old fisherman who showed Reuters a mobile phone video of the water cannon incident on April 13.
Montehermido said fishermen like him had to sneak into the shoal at night and leave in the morning.
“We are like thieves in our own homes,” he said.


US judge delays extradition of Carlos Ghosn's accused escape plotters to Japan

Updated 29 October 2020

US judge delays extradition of Carlos Ghosn's accused escape plotters to Japan

  • Prosecutors say the Taylors facilitated a "brazen" escape in which Ghosn fled Japan on Dec. 29, 2019
  • Ghosn was awaiting trial on charges that he engaged in financial wrongdoing

BOSTON: A federal judge on Thursday granted a last-minute request to stop the US government from turning over to Japan two Massachusetts men to face charges that they helped smuggle former Nissan Motor Co Chairman Carlos Ghosn out of the country while he was awaiting trial on financial crimes.
US District Judge Indira Talwani in Boston granted a request by lawyers for US Army Special Forces veteran Michael Taylor and his son, Peter Taylor, to delay the transfer shortly before the two men were scheduled to be placed on a flight to Japan.
Their lawyers sought the delay after the State Department approved handing over the men, who in September lost a court challenge to their potential extradition. They were arrested in May at the request of Japanese authorities.
Taylors' lawyers and the State Department did not respond to requests for comment.
Prosecutors say the Taylors facilitated a "brazen" escape in which Ghosn fled Japan on Dec. 29, 2019, hidden in a box and on a private jet before reaching Lebanon, his childhood home, which has no extradition treaty with Japan.
Ghosn was awaiting trial on charges that he engaged in financial wrongdoing, including by understating his compensation in Nissan's financial statements. Ghosn denies wrongdoing.
The State Department notified the Taylors' lawyers of its decision on Wednesday.
US Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi, a Republican who has taken interest in the case, wrote on Twitter that he was "outraged" by the State Department's decision to extradite the two men. "This former Special Forces member and his son will not be treated fairly," he said.