Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Indonesia has another Chinese encounter in South China Sea

The frigate fired shots which hit the stern of the fishing vessel, Gui Bei Yu-27088.
In March, an Indonesian patrol boat captured a Chinese fishing trawler illegally operating within it's waters. Before it could impound the offending vessel two Chinese coast guard vessels appeared, stole back the trawler, and towed it back to international waters, leaving the Indonesians with only the Chinese crew to show for their efforts. Last week there was a another encounter, but with different outcome. This time the Indonesians brought a Navy destroyer. Indonesia's navy said on Monday it fired shots at a Chinese trawler when it refused to stop fishing in Indonesian waters, and then seized the vessel and its crew.
Both of the incidents took place around Indonesia’s remote Natuna islands, northwest of Borneo in the South China Sea. Beijing acknowledged last November that the islands belong to Indonesia. In April Indonesia announced it would deploy F-16 fighter jets to the Natuna islands
The measure is part of a military expansion on the islands that will have a renovated runway and a new port.
While China concedes the Natunas to Indonesia, it doesn't mention the exclusive economic zone, which it doesn’t respect judging by the many intrusions of its “fishing militia.” In March China’s foreign ministry called the area where the episode took place “traditional Chinese fishing grounds.” China’s fishing fleet ignores the exclusive economic zones of many nations—even distant Argentina’s.

The Indonesian Navy is the largest navy in South East Asia based on the number of active personnel and ships. As of 2009, the Indonesian Navy had about 75,000 active personnel and more than 150 vessels in active service. The Indonesian Navy is one of a few navies in the region backed by a substantial domestic defence industry, marine corps, and armed with supersonic missiles and attack submarines.