Taiwan has recalled its ambassador to the Philippines and announced it has frozen the hiring of Philippine workers in the country to protest against the killing of a Taiwanese fisherman, rejecting an apology over the incident as inadequate.
The Philippines had earlier apologised over the incident, but President Ma Ying-jeou insisted on Wednesday that 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 the president would recall Taiwan’s envoy to Manila.
The 65-year-old fisherman was shot dead by Philippine coastguards last week after they said his vessel had strayed into territorial waters.
The incident sparked outrage in Taiwan at a time of high tensions between the nations over regional maritime disputes.
Antonio Basilio, the Philippines’ ambassador to Taiwan who made the apology after a meeting with Foreign Minister David Lin on Tuesday, had also been asked to return to Manila to “help properly handle” the case, Lee said.
Basilio said the Philippines will now send special envoy Amadeo Perez to reiterate his “deep regret and apology from the people of the Philippines” to the people of Taiwan and the fisherman’s family.