China Steps Up Patrols Near Taiwanese-Controlled Kinmen Islands

Two Chinese fishermen died after being chased by the Taiwanese coast guard near Kinmen, which is a few miles away from the Chinese mainland

The Chinese Coast Guard is stepping up patrols near the Taiwanese-controlled Kinmen Islands following an incident involving Taiwan’s Coast Guard that ended with two Chinese fishermen drowning.

The Kinmen Islands are controlled by Taiwan but are located just off the coast of mainland China, only about 3 miles away from the Chinese city of Xiamen.

Last week, Taiwan’s Coast Guard said a Chinese fishing boat entered prohibited waters off Kinmen, known as Quemoy in the mainland. The Taiwanese Coast Guard claimed the fishermen refused a request for an inspection, and their boat capsized as they tried to flee the area.

A total of four people were on the boat, and two were pronounced dead. After the incident, the Chinese Coast Guard said it would start regular patrols in the area to “maintain operational order in sea areas and safeguard fishermen’s lives and property.”

Map showing the location of Kinmen

China followed through on the statement as Chinese Coast Guard officials briefly boarded a Taiwanese cruise ship for an inspection on Monday. The next day, Taiwan said it drove away Chinese Coast Guard vessels that entered waters near Kinmen.

The tensions around Kinmen come after Taiwanese media revealed the US deployed an unspecified number of military advisors to the islands, a significant provocation considering how close the territory is to mainland China. According to Taiwan’s United Daily News, US Army Green Berets were sent to the island to train Taiwanese forces.

When asked about the deployment, a Pentagon spokesman declined to comment on specific operations in Taiwan but said, “I would highlight that our support for, and defense relationship with, Taiwan remains aligned against the current threat posed by the People’s Republic of China.”

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.