(From AFP)

A Chinese envoy called on Indonesia Monday to release eight crew members of a Chinese fishing boat detained during a maritime confrontation, after he was summoned by furious Indonesian ministers.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi
 Jakarta says Indonesian vessels were on Saturday trying to detain a Chinese fishing boat operating illegally near Indonesia’s Natuna Islands in the South China Sea, when they were prevented from doing so by Chinese coastguard vessels.

However Sun Weide, China’s acting charge d’affaires in Jakarta, insisted that the incident occurred in “traditional Chinese fishing grounds”.

The two nations normally enjoy good relations and the flare-up in tensions is rare.

Indonesia does not have overlapping territorial claims with China in the South China Sea, unlike other Asian nations. But it objects to China’s “nine-dash line” defining its claims since it overlaps Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone around the Natunas.

Eight crew members of the Chinese fishing vessel were detained before the coastguards intervened, Sun said, and urged Jakarta to let them go. Read More

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