China's Recurring Threats in the Natuna Waters
Reuters reported that the Indonesian Navy deployed warships to the North Natuna Sea to monitor Chinese coast guard vessels on Jan 14, 2023, as the government has been on alert over Chinese vessels in the region. Ship tracking data shows China's CCG 5901 has been sailing in the Natuna Sea, near the Tuna Block gas field and Vietnam's Chim Sao oil and gas field since Dec 30, 2022.
Indonesian Navy Chief of Staff Admiral Muhammad Ali said he had deployed a warship, maritime patrol aircraft, and drones. "The Chinese vessel has not conducted any suspicious activities. However, we need to monitor it as it has been in Indonesia's exclusive economic zone for some time," he said.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in Jakarta said on Monday that the CCG 5901 has been sailing in its jurisdiction "to maintain security and order at sea.