18 Apr 2012

No apology from Palau over Chinese fisher's death

5:30 pm on 18 April 2012

A Palau government spokesperson says it will not apologise to China for the death of a man caught illegally fishing in Palauan waters.

The man was one of a group of 26 Chinese men spotted fishing in a conservation area in March and died when Palauan authorities attempted to disable one of the boats involved with gunfire.

A plane carrying two Palauan police officers and their American pilot went missing on its way to film the apprehension of the main fishing vessel, which the fishing group later burnt down.

Fermin Meriang says the Chinese government has refused to acknowledge both the illegal activity and Palau's loss.

"Some of the demands that the Chinese government placed on Palau and monetary compensation to his family. However Palau will not be doing any of that. As you know Palau lost two of its finest officers and a pilot as a result of this mess."

Fermin Meriang says Palau's president Johnson Toribiong has reiterated the hope that the incident won't have any negative impact on diplomatic relations with China.