Indonesia sends warships and UAVs to track Chinese coast guard ships.

The Chinese coast guard ship was spotted in Indonesia’s EEZ, prompting the country’s navy to announce the deployment of a force to keep an eye on it.

“A warship, maritime surveillance aircraft, and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) have been deployed to monitor the activities of the Chinese coast guard ship. The ship has not done suspicious activity, but we need to monitor it. Because it has been present in Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone for a while,” Indonesian navy commander Laksamana Muhammad Ali said today.

Indonesian officials did not reveal the number of the Coast Guard vessel or the name of the deployed warship. Maritime monitoring data have confirmed that the Chinese coast guard ship 5901 has been continuously operating in the waters north of Indonesia’s Natuna Islands since 30 December 2022.

The Chinese Embassy in Jakarta hasn’t said anything about it yet. Indonesia’s claims in the South China Sea do not directly conflict with China’s, which is different from many other countries in the area. However, China’s “nine-dash line” unilaterally drew in the East Sea to claim unreasonable sovereignty claims, with most of the area overlapping with Indonesia’s EEZ around the Natuna Islands.

There has been no response to the report from the Chinese Embassy in Jakarta. Indonesia’s claims in the South China Sea do not directly conflict with China’s, unlike those of many other countries in the region.

The Chinese Coast Guard’s 5901 is one of two 165-meter-long, 12,000-ton Jiangnan-class ships. With a size of 15,000 tonnes, this patrol boat is 1.5 times larger than the US Navy’s Ticonderoga-class cruiser and nearly twice as huge as Japan’s largest Shikishima-class coast guard vessel.

With a top speed of around 45 km/h and a helipad installed in the back, the 5901 can accommodate medium-sized helicopters and unmanned aircraft (UAV).

Despite Beijing’s claims that the Chinese coast guard’s specialty is “maritime security and law enforcement,” the force’s huge ships are loaded to the gunwales with 76mm automatic cannons and other defense weaponry.

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