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Indonesia confirms detention of Chinese crew

Indonesia confirms detention of Chinese crew

Jakarta : Indonesia confirmed it is holding the crew of a Chinese fishing boat which it says was fishing illegally last week in the South China Sea.

An Indonesian official confirmed the reports on Monday.

Indonesian warships challenged a group of Chinese fishing boats operating within Indonesia’s 200-mile exclusive economic zone off the Natuna Islands On Friday, the New York Post quoted Atmadji Sumarkidjo, a spokesman for Indonesia’s Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, as saying.

Sumarkidjo added the Indonesian Navy fired warning shots to halt the fishing boats and detained a seven-member crew of a confiscated.

The detainees were taken to the Natuna Islands.

The Chinese say one sailor suffered injuries due to the shots fired.

The injured person was not one of those detained and was treated on the Chinese island of Hainan.

Sumarkidjo compared the incident with those in the past and stated the Chinese ships were fishing in the area that Indonesia claims is part of its Exclusive Economic Zone.

He added that when the Indonesian Navy pursued the Chinese ships, they tried to run away and did not obey the instructions to stop.

Spokeswoman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hua Chunying, issued a statement on the ministry’s website on Sunday contending that the fishing boats were operating in “China’s traditional fishing grounds” in the South China Sea.

The statement added the Chinese boats were harassed and shot by several Indonesian naval vessels and that China has lodged a diplomatic protest to Indonesia after the episode.

The Chinese statement also said that the latest skirmish occurred in an area “where China and Indonesia have overlapping claims for maritime rights and interests” and accused Indonesia of violating international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. (ANI)