Commentary: Keeping Chinese fishing vessels from Natuna, defending people’s welfare – Tue, January 7 2020

The latest incidents in the North Natuna Sea should serve as another wake-up call for the government to immediately and expediently improve the country’s naval and other related capabilities to safeguard the sovereign rights of the nation, particularly on the southern fringe of South China Sea. Still fresh in our minds is the skirmish between warship KRI Imam Bonjol and a Chinese fishing vessel in 2016, after which President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo held a meeting on board the warship to assert Indonesia’s rights in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). An integrated military base was then built on the Natuna Islands to deter any threat from the South China Sea. Late last year, the military presence was further strengthened after Jokowi inaugurated three Joint Defense regional Commands (Kogabwilhan), one of which is headquartered in the Riau Islands provincial capital of Tanjung Pinang …

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