A political row has broken out in Taiwan about approval given to two mainland Chinese ships to work on an offshore wind farm project in the Taiwan Strait.
The country’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has accused approving authority, the Marine and Port Bureau (MPB), of flouting decisions made by the Legislative Yuan in 2014, undermining national security, and trying to “sneak in” the Chinese engineering ships.
Platform vessel Huadian 1001 and tug Hai Gang 36 are scheduled to start work in late June near the median line of the Taiwan Strait following MPB approval on 4 June.
Last year, the two ships were prohibited from entering Taiwan’s territorial waters after discovering that the vessels have mainland registration.
A special team was then formed by Taiwan’s National Security Bureau and its ministry of defence in January 2015 to investigate the mainland vessels. Authorisation to enter Taiwanese waters depended on being cleared of being a risk to national security.
The DPP alleges the investigation has not taken place and has accused the MPB of a lack of openness by making the ships’ application papers ‘classified information’.
Taiwan’s minister of economic affairs, John Deng, has promised that the ministry will double-check the procedure and produce the necessary security clearance papers.
This post was sourced from IHS Maritime 360: View the original article here.