Publish Date: Sun, 19 Jun 2016 22:25:53 GMT
China’s Foreign Ministry said Sunday an Indonesian naval vessel fired on Chinese fishing boats and injured at least one person.
The ministry slammed the move as the Indonesian navy’s harassment of Chinese fishermen.
Beijing said the incident took place on June 17 as several Indonesian naval ships opened fire on the fishing boats in disputed fishing waters.
One boat and its seven crew were detained, the ministry stated.
“China strongly protests and condemns such excessive use of force,” the official Xinhua news agency quoted Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, as saying.
The news agency said the shooting occurred in a “traditional Chinese fishing ground” where Beijing and Jakarta have maritime disputes.
Hua said Indonesia’s actions amount to a clear violation of international law.
“China urges Indonesia to stop taking action that escalates tension, complicates issues or affects peace and stability.”
Indonesia said in a statement that its navy had detained a Chinese vessel but that nobody was hurt in the incident.
It said the navy intercepted 12 foreign vessels illegally fishing which fled as the navy warships approached. The navy vessels followed them and fired a number of warning shots. Only one Chinese ship was finally stopped and boarded.
“All the crew are safe. The six men and one woman are now in Ranai,” the Indonesia navy spokesman, Edi Sucipto, said in another statement.
“Whatever the flag, when they commit violations inside Indonesia’s jurisdiction, we, in this case the navy, will not hesitate to act decisively.”
It was the third such incident this year. Last month, China protested after Indonesia seized a Chinese vessel near Natuna island over allegations of illegal fishing.
China claims sovereignty over almost the entire South China Sea, which is also claimed in part by several Southeast Asian countries, including Taiwan, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines. The contested waters are believed to be rich in oil and gas.