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  • On this episode of China Uncensored,

  • just when you thought it couldn't get any more complicated

  • than a territorial dispute between China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei,

  • and the Philippines, well...

  • Indonesia had to show up

  • like a...seventh wheel.

  • Hi, welcome to China Uncensored, I'm your maritime mariner, Chris Chappell.

  • The South China Sea is becoming a powder keg!

  • And who is to blame?!

  • "It is exactly one country and let me not avoid mentioning the name:

  • that is, the Philippines…"

  • Well, umm, I don't think that's really

  • "We are on high alert for Japan's moves in the South China Sea."

  • Ok, no, it's not Japan this time either.

  • "I suggest to the media that in your reports you not selectively pump up or ignore things."

  • Okay, fine! Everyone's stirring up trouble in the South China Sea!

  • In fact, there is only one country not stirring up trouble:

  • Indonesia.

  • "And lastly I reiterate that Indonesia is not a claimant state in South China Sea issue."

  • Finally! A country actually not involved in the South China Sea dispute!

  • It's almost too good to be true!

  • "On March 19, the Chinese fishing boat was attacked by an Indonesian armed boat."

  • Oh. It was too good to be true.

  • You see, on Saturday, Indonesian authorities "attacked" a Chinese fishing vessel in "traditional

  • Chinese fishing grounds."

  • Of course, by "attack,"

  • the Chinese Foreign Ministry means Indonesia fired warning shots into the air

  • while approaching the Chinese vessel that was fishing there illegally.

  • And by "traditional Chinese fishing grounds,"

  • they mean Indonesia's Exclusive Economic Zone,

  • located within 200 miles around the Natuna Islands.

  • Don't worry, I didn't know what the Natuna Islands were either.

  • Apparently, they're here, outside the giant area of the South China Sea covered by China's

  • ridiculously large

  • I mean, historically accurate

  • Nine-dash line.

  • But a small part of the 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone around the Natuna islands does

  • overlap with the Nine-dash line.

  • Fortunately, Saturday's incident is nothing like what happened back in 2013,

  • when Indonesian authorities caught other another Chinese fishing vessel.

  • That time, a Chinese patrol ship came,

  • armed with mounted machine guns and demanded they release the boat and crew.

  • This time the Chinese coast guard was much better behaved.

  • They merely followed Indonesian authorities through their Economic Zone,

  • into Indonesian territorial waters,

  • then began literally ramming the Chinese fishing boat until they released it.

  • The eight-person Chinese crew is still in Indonesian custody,

  • but China has called for their release.

  • Now Indonesia has typically stayed out of South China Sea territorial disputes

  • partly because Indonesia's waters are so far away from China, it's kind of ridiculous.

  • But now, that may have changed.

  • "With the events which unfolded yesterday we feel that we were interrupted and sabotaged

  • in our efforts and our years of works to promote peace in the South China Sea."

  • Wait a minute, Indonesia.

  • Your efforts to promote peace?

  • Didn't you know that China is the one doing all the peace promotion?

  • "And, we don't hope to see anymore close-up military reconnaissance or the dispatch of

  • missile destroyers or strategic bombers to the South China Sea.

  • This is something we have a responsibility for under our non-militarization commitment."

  • See? Non-militarization commitment.

  • Except last month, when this was reported.

  • "The Chinese military has deployed an advanced surface to air missile system on one of the disputed

  • islands in the south China Sea."

  • Or shortly after that.

  • "China deploys war planes to disputed South China Sea Islands."

  • But compared to previous times Indonesia has dealt with illegal Chinese fishing vessels,

  • their response this time has been much stronger.

  • "Indonesia will summon China's ambassador over an incident involving a Chinese fishing

  • vessel in the Natuna Sea."

  • Summoning the Ambassador?

  • That’s a pretty bold move for a country that relies on China as its largest trading partner.

  • But here's the thing:

  • China doesn't even dispute Indonesia's territorial claims.

  • "The sovereignty of the Natuna Islands belongs to Indonesia.

  • China has no objections to this."

  • Yet China insists that their fishermen were still in traditional Chinese fishing grounds?

  • I guess there is something to be said for tradition.

  • If everyone just respects each other's traditional fishing grounds, then we should be fine.

  • What's that, Shelley?

  • Ok, nevermind then.

  • But anyway, the biggest problem for China is that by alienating Indonesia,

  • they may have lost the closest thing to a neutral ally in the South China Sea disputes

  • disputes that have put China at odds with pretty much everyone else.

  • So how do you think this incident will affect Indonesia's involvement in South China Sea?

  • Leave your comments below.

  • And remember to subscribe for more episodes of China Uncensored.

  • Once again I'm Chris Chappell, see you next time.

On this episode of China Uncensored,

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Indonesia "Attacks" China in South China Sea! | China Uncensored

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    keep-going posted on 2016/05/28
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