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Taiwan fishermen set sail for disputed island

PINGTUNG, Taiwan (Reuters) – Five Taiwanese fishing boats set sail for Taiwan’s sole holding in the South China Sea on Wednesday in protest against a court ruling that deems it a rock rather than an island, limiting its rights to surrounding resource-rich waters.

Festooned with Taiwan flags, the fishing boats, loaded with eggs and instant noodles, left the south coast for a week-long trip to Itu Aba, about 1,600 km away. The move is largely symbolic as Taiwan has occupied Itu Aba, which it calls Taiping, for decades. Taiwan refuses to recognize last week’s ruling in a case lodged by the Philippines in the Hague that denies China’s vast claims to the South China Sea.