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Indonesia Summons China Ambassador Over Fishing Boat in Territorial Waters

Sputnik News

10:16 21.03.2016(updated 11:02 21.03.2016)

A Chinese fishing trawler`s in Indonesian waters of the South China Sea resulted in diplomatic responsibility of China's Ambassador Xie Feng over a standoff, local media reported Monday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Indonesia's minister for fisheries and maritime affairs summoned China's Ambassador Xie Feng over a standoff involving a Chinese trawler in Indonesian waters of the South China Sea, local media reported Monday.

On Saturday, Indonesian authorities attempted to capture the ship allegedly over illegal fishing off the coast of Indonesia's Natuna islands. The Indonesian officials arrested eight members of the crew, but a Chinese coast guard boat reportedly interfered, took the trawler back into the South China Sea.

"We will summon the Chinese ambassador to discuss the issue [on Monday]. Because in the process of capturing the ship, a standoff occurs," Indonesia's Susi Pudjiastuti said, as quoted by The Jakarta Globe newspaper.

According to the minister, the incident occurred just 4.34 kilometers (2.7 miles) off the Natuna islands, which is far inside Indonesia's exclusive economic zone.

"We respect China, but we must also maintain our sovereignty," Susi said.

The eight Chinese crew members are still in custody in Indonesia, the media reported, citing the minister.

In a statement issued Sunday, the Chinese side has argued that the area where the incident occurred is "a traditional Chinese fishing ground."


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