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Indonesia assigns warship to keep tabs on Chinese coast guard vessel

Indonesia assigns warship to keep tabs on Chinese coast guard vessel

Indonesia assigns warship to keep tabs on Chinese coast guard vessel

Indonesia assigns a warship to keep tabs on a Chinese coast guard vessel

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  • Indonesia has deployed a warship to the North Natuna Sea.
  • Warship will monitor any activity of Chinese coast guard vessel.
  • Vessels from Indonesia and China trailed each other for months.
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According to the country’s naval chief, Indonesia has deployed a warship to the North Natuna Sea to monitor a Chinese coast guard vessel that has been active in a resource-rich maritime area that both countries claim as their own.

The Indonesian navy’s chief, Laksamana Madya Muhammad Ali, told the Reuters news agency on Saturday that a cruiser, marine patrol plane, and drone had been deployed to watch the Chinese vessel.

“The Chinese vessel has not conducted any suspicious activities. However, we need to monitor it as it has been in Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) for some time,” he said.

According to ship monitoring data, the Chinese warship, CCG 5901, has been sailing in the Natuna Sea, notably near Indonesia’s Tuna Block gas field and Vietnam’s Chim Sao oil and gas production, since December 30, according to the Indonesian Ocean Justice Initiative.

The CCG 5901, China’s largest coast guard vessel, is dubbed “the Monster” due to its size. The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) grants vessels navigation rights within an EEZ.

However, the presence of the well-known Chinese warship may suggest increased Chinese aggression, and it comes after Vietnam and Indonesia agreed on the boundaries of their respective EEZs in the area. Indonesia has recently approved a development plan for the Tuna gas resource, which will require an expenditure of more than $3 billion to begin production.

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The northernmost sections of Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone were dubbed the North Natuna Sea in 2017. This was part of a pushback against China’s South China Sea maritime territorial ambitions and claims. According to UNCLOS, Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone extends to the southern end of the South China Sea, which has since been renamed the North Natuna Sea.

In 2021, vessels from Indonesia and China trailed each other for months near a submerged oil rig conducting experiments in Indonesia’s gas-field development area. China pushed Indonesia to halt the test drilling at the time, claiming the activities were taking place on its territory.

China says the Indonesian marine area is inside its wide territorial claim in the South China Sea, which is demarcated by a U-shaped “nine-dash line”. In 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled that the nine-dash line lacked legal standing.

The Chinese embassy in Jakarta did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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