Jokowi orders sinking of 30 foreign boats

Jokowi orders sinking of 30 foreign boats

The government intends to immediately destroy 30 foreign fishing vessels that were caught fishing illegally in its waters.

"Soon, we will sink around 30 vessels," President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said before a group of singers and songwriters at the State Palace on Monday.

The President did not specify the origins of the vessels.

Jokowi, whose popularity recently plunged to an all-time low, particularly as a result of his perceived poor management, blamed his subordinates for the sluggish executions of his orders in the sinking of the boats.

"In the past, I have had to repeat my instructions three times before they finally agreed to sink the ships," he said.

Since December, the government has sunk more than a dozen foreign boats from Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines, igniting regional diplomatic uproar.

The government has detained at least eight Chinese vessels for illegal fishing since December, but has thus far held back from sinking them as a result of intense diplomatic pressure from Beijing.

Authorities have claimed that the sinking of the Chinese vessels cannot be done immediately as they are awaiting court decisions.

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