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Jokowi Visits Natuna Amid Rising Tensions With China

President Joko Widodo

President Joko Widodo has visited Natuna Regency, Riau Islands, on Wednesday 8th January. During his visit, Jokowi met with hundreds of fishermen and distributed land certificates.

Jokowi arrived at 09.10 WIB at the Air Force Base Raden Sadjad. Jokowi came along with TNI Commander Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto, Staff Presidential Chief Moeldoko, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Arifin Tasrif, and Deputy Minister of Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning Surya Tjandra.

The tension between China and Indonesia has increased in Natuna following the presence of Chinese ships entering the area and operating illegally. Even after being driven out by KRI Tjiptadi-381, owned by the Indonesian Navy, Chinese ships did not leave the Indonesian exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Jokowi previously stressed that the government would not negotiate with China over the Natuna issue. “There is no such thing as bargaining about sovereignty, about our country’s territories,” Jokowi said.

The government also plans to mobilise fishermen from the north coast, or Pantura, of Java to catch fish in the North Natuna Sea. The Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Mahfud MD, said the mobilisation of fishermen is planned to be carried out to demonstrate Indonesia’s presence in the North Natuna Sea.

The Indonesian army held a military readiness exercise to guard Jokowi in Natuna. The team was joined by 500 army, police, firefighters, basarnas personnel, and staff from the Department of Transportation.

“To anticipate potential threats, the TNI carried out security by involving the national police and related agencies,” said Korem Commander 033 / WP Brigadier General Gabriel Lema.

Source: Kata Data

Image: CNN Indonesia

See: Jokowi: Jakarta’s Flood Due to Litter and Ecological Damage

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