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Taiwan Claims China Cut Underwater Internet Cables

Over 14,000 residents on Taiwan's Matsu islands have been without internet for the past month, as the government indicates that multiple Chinese ships have cut the two submarine cables in the Taiwan Strait.

Presidential Palace of the Republic of China | Wikimedia Commons

What Happened:

  • Taiwan's National Communications Commission (NCC) blamed a Chinese fishing vessel for severing the first cable some 50km out at sea. On February 8th, a Chinese cargo ship allegedly cut the second.

  • Taiwan's coast guard chased the first fishing vessel on February 2nd, but it managed to escape back to Chinese waters.

  • Authorities were able to identify two Chinese ships in the area where the cables were cut, based on automated identification system data.

Not the First Time:

  • The cables had been cut a total of 27 times in the past five years, but it was unclear which country the vessels in question originated from.

  • Some experts suspect China may have been behind the sabotage as part of its harassment of the self-ruled island.

For now, the only thing residents can do is wait until cable-laying ships can come and repair the cables. Due to the limited number of vessels capable of this task, the earliest work will begin is mid-April.

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