China Coast Guard Enters Natuna Sea; Allegedly Intimidated Fisherman

15 September 2022 13:22 WIB

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - A patrol boat from the China Coast Guard has once again been detected entering the Natuna waters that is Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) on September 8. The vessel in question did not peacefully cross borders but had allegedly intimidated local fishermen who were at sea, as one fisherman recorded the entire incident. 

“I was intending to cross another coordinate and [the China coast guard vessel] came from ahead of me to block me and then continued to circle us. It’s similar to riding a motorcycle and we suddenly get surrounded by people, how would that feel,” said local Natuna fisherman Dedi (38) in an online meeting on September 12. 

Apart from visual proof, Dedi said he had logged the coordinates of the Chinese vessel. There were also other foreign vessels from Vietnam, Taiwan, and the North Natuna Sea. 

Dedi's findings are confirmed by the analysis of IOJI researchers with satellite image monitoring data analysis of automatic identification system (AIS). Indeed, the Chinese coast guard ship was found pacing back and forth in Indonesia’s ZEE.

"In accordance with the video recorded by fishermen, this ship is not just passing through, but patrolling, going in and out, going back and forth, if it passes, the graph will be a straight line," said Imam, IOJI researcher.

According to the Head of the Natuna Fisherman Alliance, Hendri. The Chinese coast guard ship's action against Dedi was intimidation. "This is intimidation so that the Natuna (fishermen) ship shifts," said Hendri.

The head of the Public Relations and Protocol Section of the Maritime Security Agency (Bakamla) Colonel Wisnu Pramandita said that Bakamla is currently checking the North Natuna Sea. "We are checking there," said Vishnu briefly, Tuesday, September 13, 2022.

As of this writing, there has been no explanation from the Chinese government regarding the entry of Chinese coast guard vessels into the Indonesian EEZ.

YOGI EKA SAHPUTRA

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