Indonesia deploys warship to monitor China coast guard vessel | South China Sea News

A warship, maritime patrol aircraft and drones have been deployed to monitor Chinese ships in the North Natuna Sea.

The head of Indonesia’s navy said Indonesia has deployed a warship to the North Natuna Sea to monitor a Chinese coast guard vessel operating in resource-rich waters claimed by both countries. .

Laksamana Madya Muhammad Ali, the head of the Indonesian navy, told Reuters news agency on Saturday that a warship, maritime patrol aircraft and drones had been deployed to monitor the Chinese vessel.

“The Chinese ship did not conduct any suspicious activities. However, we need to monitor it because it has been in Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) for some time,” he said.

Vessel tracking data shows that the Chinese vessel, CCG 5901, has been sailing in the Natuna Sea and especially near Indonesia’s Tuna Block gas field and Vietnam’s Chim Sao oil field since December 30, Initiative Ocean Justice Indonesia told Reuters.

China’s CCG 5901 is the world’s largest coast guard ship and is nicknamed the “monster” due to its size. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) grants ships the right to navigate through an exclusive economic zone.

But the presence of celebrities Chinese ship could signal China’s growing assertiveness and comes after Vietnam and Indonesia signed an agreement on the boundaries of their exclusive economic zones in the area. Indonesia also recently approved a plan to develop the Tuna gas field, which involves an estimated investment of more than $3 billion to start production.

In 2017, Indonesia renamed the northern part of its exclusive economic zone to the North Natuna Sea. This is part of an effort to push back against China’s maritime territorial ambitions and claims in the South China Sea. Indonesia asserts that under UNCLOS, the southern end of the South China Sea – since renamed the North Natuna Sea – is its exclusive economic zone.

train from Indonesia and China shadow each other for months in 2021, near a submerged oil rig carrying out tests in an Indonesian gas field development area. At the time, China called on Indonesia to stop testing drilling, arguing that these activities were taking place on its territory.

China claims Indonesia’s maritime zone as part of its expansive territorial claim in the South China Sea, marked by a U-shaped “nine-dash line”. paragraph has has no legal basis in 2016.

A spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Jakarta was not immediately available for comment.

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