Taiwan fishing boat detained by China's coast guard

China's coast guard has detained a Taiwanese fishing boat off the coast of southern China. Taiwan's maritime authorities are demanding Beijing immediately release the crew.

Taiwan's coast guard officials said the vessel was stopped for a maritime inspection by two Chinese government ships in waters off Fujian Province on Tuesday night.

After receiving the report, two Taiwanese patrol vessels attempted to approach the fishing boat, but they were blocked by a larger number of China Coast Guard ships. The boat was taken to a port in Fujian.

Taiwanese officials said the boat was inspected close to the Kinmen Islands -- which Taiwan effectively controls --but outside the waters that Taiwan claims sovereignty over in a location about 20 kilometers off the coast of Fujian.

The fishing boat reportedly had six crew members, including migrant workers, onboard and was catching squid. But Chinese authorities have suspended squid fishing for the time being.

Taiwan's coast guard is calling on Beijing to refrain from undermining cross-strait ties through political manipulation.

In February, a Chinese fishing boat capsized near the Kinmen Islands while being pursued by Taiwan's maritime authorities for suspected illegal fishing. The incident prompted the China Coast Guard to step up its patrol activities around the area on a regular basis.