Indonesian Navy Fires on Chinese Boat

Indonesian Navy Fires on Chinese BoatIndonesian Navy Fires on Chinese Boat

China has accused the Indonesian Navy of opening fire on a Chinese fishing boat in disputed fishing grounds.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that one fisherman was injured and several detained. The incident happened on Friday near the Natuna islands, off the coast of Borneo in the South China Sea.

The Indonesian Navy said earlier it had fired shots at several boats with Chinese flags, but said there had been no injuries, BBC reported. It is unclear whether the fishermen are still being detained by Indonesian authorities.

China claims most of the South China Sea, where it is building islands and extending its infrastructure, and there are often flareups with regional neighbors over competing claims.

Unlike other South East Asian countries, Indonesia is not involved in the territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

China accepts the Natuna islands and the seas around them belong to Indonesia, but the two sides have confronted one another there before, typically over illegal fishing.

Friday's incident was the third altercation between Indonesian and China in waters near Natuna this year.

"China strongly protests and condemns such excessive use of force," said ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, in a statement on Sunday, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The incident happened in "traditional Chinese fishing ground", the statement said. In March, Indonesia lodged an official protest after an Indonesian patrol ship tried to detain a Chinese fishing boat in Natuna Sea, but was prevented from doing so by the Chinese coastguard.