100 China boats seen encroaching in Malaysia


The Luconia Shoals, divided into the North and South Luconia Shoals, and sometimes known as the Luconia Reefs, are one of the largest and least-known reef complexes in the South China Sea. Bing Maps

KUALA LUMPUR – About 100 Chinese-registered boats have been detected encroaching in Malaysian waters near the Luconia Shoals in the South China Sea, a Malaysian minister said.

Shahidan Kassim, a minister in charge of national security, said the government has dispatched the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency and the navy to the area to monitor the situation.

Shahidan was quoted by the national Bernama news agency on Friday as saying that legal enforcement action would be taken if the Chinese vessels are found to have entered Malaysia’s exclusive economic zone.

In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said that Chinese boats have a right to be in the waters.

“I want to point out that it is the fishing season in the South China Sea now, and according to usual practice, Chinese fishing vessels are fishing normally in the relevant waters at this time each year,” Hong said.