China condemns Indonesia's firing on Chinese boats in South China Sea

China claims almost all of South China Sea which is disputed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.

Beijing: China on Sunday criticised the Indonesian navy for using "excessive force" on its fishermen which injured a Chinese crew member in the disputed South China Sea, the latest escalation of tensions between the two countries.

The foreign ministry strongly protested over the Indonesian navy's "harassment" of Chinese fishermen.

"China strongly protests and condemns such excessive use of force," said Hua Chunying, spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign ministry.

Chinese fishing boats were harassed and shot at by several Indonesian navy warships in a disputed fishing ground in the South China Sea on Friday, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

One crew member was injured. Another fishing boat and seven crew were detained, it said.

The incident took place in a traditional Chinese fishing ground where China and Indonesia have overlapping maritime rights claims, Hua said.

Indonesia's actions violated international laws including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), as well as the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), and harmed the lives and property of Chinese fishermen, Hua said.

"China urges Indonesia to stop taking action that escalates tension, complicates issues, or affects peace and stability," she said.

Last month, China strongly protested after the Indonesian navy seized a Chinese boat in waters near Indonesia's Natuna Islands for allegedly fishing illegally.

The two countries have clashed before over the islands on the southwestern edge of the South China Sea.

China claims almost all of South China Sea which is disputed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.


Indonesia does not reject China's ownership of reefs or islets in the disputed waterway, but objects to Beijing's claims as they overlap with its own exclusive economic zone around the Natunas.

The US has been dispatching its warships into the waters claimed by China to assert freedom of navigation.

China has strongly opposed such action, saying the US threatens China's sovereignty and security, endangers the safety of people and facilities on the reef and harms regional peace and stability. 

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