Jakarta (VNA) – Indonesian naval ships found many Chinese coast guard and fishing vessels remain in Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) near Natuna waters on January 11, four days after President Joko Widodo’s visit to Natuna district in Riau Islands province.

Indonesian media quoted Rear Admiral Yudo Margono, Commander of Joint Defense Regional Commands I, as saying that six coast guard ships and one marine surveillance vessel of China were found to escort this country’s fishing boat operating illegally in Indonesia’s EEZ.

Indonesia sent naval ships KRI Usman Harun-359, KRI Jhon Lie-358 and KRI Karel Satsuitubun-356 to drive the Chinese vessels away from its EEZ.

In a press statement after joining an aerial reconnaissance of the Indonesian Air Force on January 11, Margono said if the Chinese fishing vessels remain in the Indonesian EEZ, they would be apprehended and tried in court. 

He urged not to let the Indonesia-China relationship get disrupted by the Chinese fishing vessels' illegal activities.

President Joko Widodo has ordered the Indonesian authorities to take stern action against those violating the Indonesian EEZ, he added.

Diplomatic tensions between Jakarta and Beijing have lasted for the past two weeks after China’s marine surveillance vessels escorted tens of ship trespassing Indonesia’s EEZ in the waters off the coast of Natuna Islands.

President Widodo visited Natuna on January 8 and affirmed the country’s sovereignty over the islands./.