Indonesian Navy fires on Chinese boat, injures fisherman

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

June 19, 2016

An Indonesian naval vessel fired on a Chinese fishing boat on Friday, injuring one person, China's foreign ministry said, the countries' third reported confrontation this year near a chain of islands as regional tensions mount in the South China Sea.

Beijing had made official protests over the incident, the ministry said in its statement on Sunday, and urged Indonesia not to take any more actions to complicate the situation.

Indonesia's navy said it had fired warning shots at several boats with Chinese flags that it said were fishing illegally near the Natuna Islands, but did not mention any injuries.

Indonesia is not part of a broader regional dispute over China's reclamation activities in the South China Sea and Beijing's claims on swathes of key waterways.

But Jakarta has objected to China's inclusion of parts of the Indonesian-ruled Natuna Islands within a "nine-dash line" that Beijing marks on maps to show its claim on the body of water.

China has said it does not dispute Indonesia's sovereignty over the Natuna Islands, although the statement said the area where the incident occurred is subject to overlapping interests.

The Indonesian warship damaged one Chinese fishing boat in the incident near the Natuna Islands and detained another with seven people aboard, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said on the ministry website.

The Chinese coast guard rescued the injured fisherman, who was transported to the southern Chinese island province of Hainan for treatment where his injuries were under control, Hua said.

It was unclear from the statement whether Indonesia was still holding the vessel and those aboard.

The incident follows on two other spats this year near the islands arising from encounters between the Indonesian navy and Chinese fishing boats.

(Reporting by Jake Spring and Ben Blanchard; Additional reporting by Kanupriya Kapoor in Jakarta; Editing by Andrew Heavens)
 

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