"Their aim is stealing fish. The arrest attempt by the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) was blocked by Chinese Coast Guard ships. The same MO was carried out again in December 2019," said People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) Chair Bambang Soesatyo on Tuesday, January 7, 2020.
This Party of Functional Groups (Golkar) politician said that China will continue its adventure in the North Natuna Sea to realize its ambitions. China is considered to continue to provoke Indonesia, especially the TNI personnel serving in those waters.
"Therefore, strengthening the Indonesian coast guard fleet in the Natuna waters has become very relevant," he stressed.
Indonesia has given a note of diplomatic protest to the Chinese Government over the incident in Natuna. The protest note for Indonesia's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) violations was filed by the Foreign Ministry after Chinese coast guard vessels escorted fishermen to steal fish in Indonesian waters.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also called on the Chinese Ambassador to express his strong protest. A spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Geng Shuang, argued that his country did not violate international law under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
They considered Natuna to be included in the nine dotted lines set by China historically. The nine dotted lines are historical areas claimed by China in the South China Sea.
However, based on UNCLOS, Natuna waters are within Indonesia's EEZ region. The Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs asked China to respect the 1982 UNCLOS decision on Indonesia's sovereign rights in the region.