Makassar, S Sulawesi (ANTARA) - Three Indonesian naval ships participated in a military drill in the Makassar waters, South Sulawesi Province, on Wednesday to strengthen their maritime surveillance and coordination capability in warfare.

"Today, the KRI Pulau Rimau-724, KRI Pari-849, and KRI Tatihu-853 are conducting a rehearsal of tactical maneuvers. This drill is being monitored by the Naval Main Base (Lantamal) VI officers," Lantamal VI Commander, First Admiral Hanarko Djodi, said.

During the drill, the three battle ships practiced formations for counter-attacks and defensive measures and simulated threats posed by enemy fleets, he said, adding the crew also practiced pennant hoisting and semaphore signaling.

According to the KRI Pulau Riau-724 commander, Major Alkadri, the drill was aimed at strengthening the combat readiness of Indonesian naval ships in maritime security operations.

Due to Indonesia's vast exclusive economic zone (EEZ), which is abundant in marine resources, many foreign fishing vessels have been found trespassing the country's EEZ, he said.

Therefore, Indonesia is working to strengthen surveillance in its waters, he explained.

Related news: Four Indonesian naval ships on standby in E. Kalimantan for patrol

Last year, ANTARA noted two instances of Chinese coast guard vessels escorting tens of Chinese fishing boats to Indonesia’s EEZ near the Natuna waters on December 19 and December 24.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian Foreign Ministry has lodged an official protest by summoning the Chinese ambassador in Jakarta over recent violations by Chinese coast guard vessels in the Indonesian EEZ near Natuna waters.

Chinese coast guard vessels have repeatedly violated Indonesia's EEZ rights over the past three years.

In March 2016, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno L.P. Marsudi had lodged a protest with the Chinese charge d'affaires in Jakarta, Sun Weide, over Chinese coast guard violations in Indonesian waters.

Early this year, Chinese coast guard vessels were found escorting several fishing vessels to poach on Indonesia's EEZ near the Natuna waters.

On January 11 this year, a Chinese coast guard vessel (registration number 5302) attempted to intercept Indonesian naval ship (KRI) Usman Harun-359 from a distance of around 55 meters in the Indonesian EEZ near the Natuna waters in Riau Island Province.

Chinese fishing boats had been escorted to the area by six Chinese coast guard vessels and a ship from China’s maritime surveillance agency and were found spreading their nets for poaching.

In response, Indonesian naval ships (KRI) Usman Harun-359, KRI Jhon Lie-358, and KRI Karel Satsuitubun-356 were deployed to expel the Chinese fishing vessels from the Indonesian EEZ.

The on-duty Indonesian officers tried to help them understand the principles of international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in 1982, which has been ratified by both Indonesia and China.

Related news: TNI confirms Chinese vessels have exited Indonesian EEZ

Translator: Suriani M, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
Copyright © ANTARA 2020