By Bernama & Reuters
KUALA LUMPUR: More than 100 Chinese boats and ships were found to have trespassed into Malaysian waters in the South China Sea near Beting Patinggi Ali. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim said the government had ordered the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency to monitor the area following the encroachments. “We have deployed three MMEA vessels to the area, while the Royal Malaysian Navy also has its assets there. “Our Bombardier aircraft has also been sent to fly that area earlier today where they saw a group of fishermen from China conducting activities in our waters. “They are quite large in number, and we expect our vessels to arrive at the location tonight,” he told reporters at the Parliament’s lobby today. He said legal action will be taken against the group if they were found to have encroached into Malaysia’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
China’s foreign ministry spokesman, Hong Lei, asked about the Malaysian report at a regular briefing on Friday, said he did not “understand the details” of what the Malaysian government had said about the matter.
“What I want to point out is that now is the fishing season in the South China Sea … At this time of year, every year, Chinese trawlers are in the relevant waters carrying out normal fishing activities,” Hong said. He did not elaborate.