Jakarta is sending a warship and drone to monitor a Chinese ship in the northern Natuna Sea

Jakarta: Indonesia has dispatched a warship to its northern Natuna Sea to patrol a Chinese coast guard vessel that was active in a resource-rich sea area, the country’s navy chief said Saturday over an area both countries claim as their own.

Vessel tracking data shows the vessel, CCG 5901, has been sailing in the Natuna Sea since Dec. 30, specifically near the Tuna Bloc gas field and Vietnam’s Chim Sao oil and gas field, Indonesia’s Ocean Justice Initiative said.

A warship, a maritime patrol plane and a drone were deployed to monitor the ship, said Indonesian Navy chief Laksamana Muhammad Ali.

“The Chinese ship did not conduct any suspicious activity. However, we need to monitor it as it has been in Indonesia’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) for some time.”

A spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Jakarta was not immediately available for comment.

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) gives ships navigation rights through an EEZ.

The bottom of China's nine-dash line includes Indonesia's territorial waters in the North Natuna Sea.

The bottom of China’s nine-dash line includes Indonesia’s territorial waters in the North Natuna Sea.Credit:The New York Times

The activity follows an Indonesia-Vietnam EEZ agreement and Indonesia’s approval to develop the Natuna Sea tuna gas field with an estimated total investment of more than US$3 billion (US$4.3 billion) by the start of the Production.

In 2021, ships from Indonesia and China shadowed each other for months near a submersible rig that had been performing good reviews in the tuna block.

https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/jakarta-sends-warship-drone-to-monitor-chinese-vessel-in-north-natuna-sea-20230114-p5ccjg.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_world Jakarta is sending a warship and drone to monitor a Chinese ship in the northern Natuna Sea

Callan Tansill

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