tirsdag 7. januar 2020

Indonesia Boosts Patrols Near Natuna Islands, as Row with China Escalates

Indonesia is boosting patrols in its maritime territory in the South China Sea after incursions by Chinese coast guard and fishing boats in recent days. The head of Indonesia’s Maritime Security Agency (Bakamla) said the country would defend its waters off the Natuna Islands – an archipelago at the southern reaches of the contested sea – after more than 60 Chinese ships trespassed in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in late December.

“We will be present there and we will stake our claim,” ​​Vice Admiral Achmad Taufiqoerrohman, the chief of Bakamla, told reporters after meeting with cabinet ministers in Jakarta on Friday. “The Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) will also exert their strength,” Achmad said. He did not indicate how many additional personnel or ships would be deployed, saying those details were confidential.