Indonesia slams China's 'traditional fishing ground' claims | World Defense

Indonesia slams China's 'traditional fishing ground' claims

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Tensions between the two countries are high after the Indonesian navy fired warning shots at Chinese fishing vessels in waters off Natuna islands last week.


JAKARTA: Indonesia on Tuesday (Jun 21) slammed China’s claims of a ‘traditional fishing ground’ near Indonesia's Natuna islands, in the latest standoff between the two countries over allegations of illegal fishing.

Tensions between the two countries are high after the Indonesian navy fired warning shots at Chinese fishing vessels in waters off Natuna islands on Friday and detained some sailors.

Following the clash on Friday, China's foreign ministry stated that "China and Indonesia have overlapping claims for maritime rights and interests" in the area. Previously, China had defended its actions by saying that it was operating in "traditional Chinese fishing grounds".

Indonesian Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Susi Pudjiastuti told reporters at a press conference that China had previously said it had no issues with Indonesia. She said this meant that Beijing respected Indonesia’s sovereignty and its Exclusive Economic Zone.

According to the minister, the two countries do not have any maritime agreements to cooperate within a specified territory, and so Chinese fishing vessels would be treated like any other boat caught fishing illegally in the country’s waters.

"We are not aware of it, we don’t know of its existence and we don’t acknowledge anybody’s claims which say that there is a traditional fishing zone in Indonesia’s Exclusive Economic Zone; except in one territory which we have signed upon in agreement with Malaysia, the Strait of Malacca,” she said.

A total of 57 vessels have been caught in Indonesia's waters since January. One boat belonged to Thailand, four were from Malaysia, three belonged to China and 49 were Vietnamese vessels.

Chinese coast guards have intercepted Indonesia's attempts to detain its vessels.

The Indonesian navy's Western Fleet commander, Rear Admiral A Taufiq R, said China was trying to “mark their territory” with the presence of the coast guards. He also denied Chinese allegations that warning shots fired by Indonesia had injured a Chinese crew member.

Ms Susi reiterated that Indonesia’s Exclusive Economic Zone was part of Indonesia’s territorial sovereignty.


“Once again I don’t care which country it is, or what vessel it is, or whose vessel it is. If you steal our fish, then you stole from us, and I want to assert that we, along with our taskforce, do not take this lightly. We will not consider relations between countries in this matter. What we see is a serious offense.”

According to the minister, more boats have been caught because of intensive maritime patrols. The navy, officials from the ministry, and the task force set up to combat illegal fishing would conduct routine operations together in the near future, she said.

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/indonesia-slams-china-s/2891416.html
 

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PRC Coast Guard ship (3303) tried to intervene the Indonesian Navy KRI Imam Bonjol (Parchim Class) as it was seizing the PRC fishing boat but was blocked by an Indonesian Navy FPB-57 Class Patrol Boat KRI Todak.




in the pictures showed that China Coast Guard 3033's canon aimed towards KRI 631 while KRI 631's lifted to the sky
 
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Beijing using fishing boats to stake claims in South China Sea: Indonesia rear-admiral


The presence of Chinese fishing boats poaching in the Natunas is a ruse by Beijing to stake its claims in the South China Sea, the naval commander of Indonesia's Western Fleet has said.PHOTO: TNI-AL WESTERN FLEET COMMAND

Stealing fish is just an excuse, says Indonesian rear-admiral

The presence of Chinese fishing boats poaching in the Natunas is a ruse by Beijing to stake its claims in the South China Sea, the naval commander of Indonesia's Western Fleet has said.

"Stealing our fish is just an excuse, it is really a move to establish their claims," said Rear-Admiral A. Taufiq R., referring to China. "When you claim a territory, you have to be there and their way to achieve that is by deploying fishing vessels."

His comments at a press conference yesterday came after Indonesian warships detained another China-flagged vessel and its crew last Friday, for fishing illegally in waters off the Natuna Islands.


China's claim of almost all of the South China Sea has brought it up against rival claims by Taiwan and Asean's Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei. Indonesia is not a party to the disputes but grew concerned after Beijing in March said the waters around the Natunas, within Indonesia's exclusive economic zone, are part of its "traditional fishing grounds" and Chinese boats should be free to fish there.

On Friday's incident, the Indonesian navy said warning shots had to be fired to stop 12 Chinese fishing boats but it detained only the Yueyandong Yu 19038 and its crew of seven because it was the only boat with its fishing nets cast at the time.




Rear-Admiral Taufiq denied Beijing's allegation that shots fired by the Indonesian warship KRI Imam Bonjol had wounded a Chinese fisherman, calling it "baseless".

"The seven who were arrested are well, unharmed and unscathed. We fired warning shots only because they didn't stop," he said.

The Yueyandong Yu is the third Chinese boat caught poaching in Indonesian waters since March, said Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti at a separate press conference yesterday.

The three are among 57 foreign fishing boats held by Indonesia for poaching since the start of this year, including from Vietnam and Malaysia. The ministry has sunk 176 fishing boats captured from poachers in the past eight months.

Ms Susi has vowed to continue to be tough with poachers, regardless of their flags, saying 16 more of such boats will be sunk after Ramadan next month. "A thief is a thief, (no matter) where they are from, Vietnam, China or Thailand," she said.

Beijing has condemned Indonesia's use of force and urged that it refrain from "any action that complicates or magnifies the dispute, or impacts the peace and stability of the region". President Joko Widodo has approved the setting up of a panel of international maritime law experts to find a way to amicably resolve the issue of China encroaching into Indonesian waters, said Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan on Monday.


http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/be...ims-in-south-china-sea-indonesia-rear-admiral
 

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China is trying to expand along the Atlantic as counter measure to the naval build up by the south and far Asian countries. Indonesia is ready as it should be but lacks some alliance in the region.
 
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