Malaysia has said that more than 100 Chinese fishing boats have been spotted within its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) off Sarawak and it planned to take action against them.
The boats were sighted near Beting Patinggi Ali, also known as Luconia Shoals, about 100km off the coast of Miri in Sarawak.
The shoals are near the southern extreme of China’s so-called nine- dash line, according to previous media reports. China is claiming territories inside the nine-dash line which spans 90 per cent of the 3.5 million sq km South China Sea.
Malaysia’s Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Shahidan Kassim disclosed on Thursday that the government had dispatched three Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) vessels to the area. He did not specify what action would be taken. “Our Bombardier aircraft has also been sent to fly to that area where they saw a group of fishermen from China conducting activities in our waters,” Datuk Seri Shahidan told reporters.
He could not be reached yesterday, while a senior MMEA official declined to comment.
The incident comes on the heels of another near Indonesia’s Natuna Islands last Saturday. Jakarta said a Chinese patrol boat forcibly prevented Indonesian maritime authorities from detaining a Chinese fishing boat allegedly poaching in Indonesian waters. Eight crew members of the Chinese fishing boat were detained by Indonesia.
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