Monday, March 21, 2016

China retrieves ship caught fishing illegally in Indonesia

Indonesia on Monday protested the Chinese coast guard's retrieval of a ship while it was detained for fishing illegally in Indonesian waters. An Indonesian fisheries ministry patrol ship had intercepted the Chinese vessel on Saturday within Indonesia's exclusive economic zone which overlaps with the southernmost reaches of the South China Sea. Eight crewmen were detained.
The fishing vessel Kway Fey was being towed when a Chinese coastguard vessel collided with it, allowing its escape.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said China's coast guard "violated our sovereignty" and called on China to respect international law. China's expansive claims to most of the South China Sea have raised tensions with several Southeast Asian countries, especially as China reclaims land on reefs and builds infrastructure in disputed areas.

Authorities are concerned China might enlarge its claims to include Indonesia's Natuna Islands. Indonesia's military chief has said it was strengthening its forces there.

Indonesia has destroyed dozens of foreign ships for illegally fishing in its waters, and called on Beijing to stand against illegal and unregulated fishing.

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