Indonesia says to summon China ambassador over Natuna Sea fishing boat incident

JAKARTA - Indonesia will summon the Chinese ambassador in Jakarta over an incident involving a Chinese fishing vessel in the Natuna Sea, a minister said on Sunday.

The move comes amid heightened tensions in the South China Sea over China's land reclamation there and over its claims on vast swathes of what is an important shipping corridor. Several Southeast Asian countries have overlapping claims in the area.

Indonesia was attempting to detain the Chinese vessel for fishing illegally in waters near the contested South China Sea when a Chinese coast guard vessel intervened, fisheries minister Susi Pudjiastuti told reporters in Jakarta.

"What we will ask the ambassador is that if they say their nine-dash line does not claim Natuna then why is there still illegal fishing happening there," Pudjiastuti said, adding the Chinese ambassador will be summoned by the foreign ministry on Monday. "Their government should not stand behind illegal and unregulated fishing," she said.

Chinese embassy officials and Indonesian foreign ministry officials were not immediately available for comment.

China claims vast swathes of the South China Sea that are also claimed by several Southeast Asian countries. Indonesia is not a claimant in the disputed South China Sea, but has raised concerns over China's inclusion of the resource-rich Natuna Islands in its so-called "nine-dash line".