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Indonesia files protest over Chinese vessel trespassing

Ministry of Foreign Affairs summons Chinese envoy to Jakarta and file protest

Errıc Permana   | 31.12.2019
Indonesia files protest over Chinese vessel trespassing

JAKARTA

Indonesia issued a protest against China over violations of its territory by a Chinese coastguard vessel around the disputed Natuna waters, said the country’s Foreign Ministry.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press statement that it had summoned the Chinese envoy to Jakarta and filed a protest.

It reiterated that the country does not have overlapping jurisdiction with China.

“Indonesia will never recognize the 9 PRC [People's Republic of China] dash lines as the drawdown is contrary to UNCLOS [United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea] as decided by the 2016 UNCLOS Ruling Tribunal,” it added.

The ministry said that it will continue to coordinate closely with the National Army, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, and the Maritime Security Agency to ensure the law enforcement in Indonesia's exclusive economic zone.

Natuna waters, that is believed to hold significant reserves of undiscovered oil and gas, is located in the southern part of the South China Sea, a crucial passage for commercial shipping.

Due to its economic and geostrategic importance, the sea becomes a venue of several complex territorial disputes that have been the cause of political as well as military conflict and tension within the region and throughout the Indo-Pacific.

China claims nearly all of the 3.5-million-square-kilometer South China Sea, overlaps with the maritime claims from Vietnam, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei.

*Rhany Chairunissa Rufinaldo contributed to this story from Jakarta

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