On Monday, Chinese coastguard vessel was found near the disputed territorial waters of South China sea. This led to Indonesia protesting to Beijing saying it is “violating sovereignty.”
According to the statements of Indonesia’s foreign affairs ministry, the Chinese vessel or boat trespassed off the coast of the northern Islands of Natuna which is Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone. The foreign affairs ministry was not able to confirm as to when the incident occurred.
The Chinese ambassador was summoned in Jakarta by the fori=eign affairs ministry conveying a strong protest regarding this incident. Even a “diplomatic note of protest” was sent.
The ambassador has to report back to Beijing but both sides have decided to maintain good and healthy bilateral relations till then. The Chinese embassy in Jakarta was not available for a comment immediately.
In words of several media reports, local fishermen were the first to spot the Chinese coastguard vessel which was escorting probable Chinese fishing boats several times in the last few days. The local fishermen then report the same to the Maritime Security Agency.
Indonesia’s foreign ministry has mentioned clearly and several times that Indonesia is a non-claimant country or state in the South China Sea and also precisely mentioned as having no overlapping jurisdiction with China. However, there had been clashes between Jakarta and Beijing over the fishing rights in the area around the Nantua Islands before, which lead Jakarta to increase military presence in the area.
On the other hand, China claims a huge part of the South China Sea which is considered to be an important trade route which also has been believed to contain huge quantities of oil and natural gas.
Beijing has also been constructing artificial islands in the area. These developments have slightly annoyed the members of the Association of South-East Asian Nations also known as ASEAN. ASEAN countries like Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines along with Taiwan have claims in the South China Sea.