China has made it clear that it is not pleased with Indonesia after an incident that resulted in the Indonesian navy seizing a number of Chinese fishing boats. China believes Indonesia had exercised “abuse of force” in the situation, among other things.
During a press briefing, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that China believes Indonesia clearly acted in violation of a number of international laws, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC).
Spokeswoman Hua Chunying also asserted that China and Indonesia share overlapping claims in the area where the encounter between the Chinese fishing boats and Indonesian navy had occurred.
According to a report from The New York Times, the incident happened on Friday when some Indonesian navy vessels decided to challenge a group of Chinese fishing boats that had been operating inside Indonesia’s 200-mile exclusive economic zone off the Natuna Islands just northwest of Borneo.
The Indonesian Navy decided to fire warning shots in order to get the Chinese to stop their advance. One of the Chinese sailors had been injured as a result. According to Atmadji Sumarkidjo, the spokesman for the Indonesian Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, “The navy pursued them, and they tried to run away and did not obey our instructions to stop.”
In the end, Indonesia managed to seize one of the boats along with its crew of seven. The injured sailor was taken to the Chinese island of Hainan to be treated. According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the injured sailor is now in good condition. Another fishing boat also reportedly sustained damage during the incident.
Following the altercation, China says that Indonesia should stop undertaking actions that “complicate, exaggerate the dispute and undermine peace and stability.”