Maritime Authorities of Malaysia detains Chinese vessels for trespassing
On Saturday, Malaysia 's maritime authorities announced that they had detained 60 Chinese nationals and six Chinese-registered fishing vessels that they said had infiltrated the waters of the Southeast Asian country.
Between 2016 and 2019, in the midst of escalating tensions between the United States and China over Beijing 's claims to much of the resource-rich South China Sea, which is also a major trade path, Malaysia recorded 89 intrusions by Chinese coast guards and navy ships.
The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) said the fishing vessels and crew were taken into custody on Friday during an operation off the coast of southern Johor State.
“Further checks found that all the vessels registered in Qinhuangdao, China, were manned by six captains and 54 crew who are Chinese nationals aged between 31 and 60 years,” MMEA regional director Mohd Zulfadli Nayan stated.
The MMEA stated that it was believed that the vessels, which had no cargo when detained, were en route to Mauritania but had to stop due to some malfunction.
A Chinese research ship spent a month surveying in the exclusive economic zone of Malaysia earlier this year, in the middle of a standoff with a Malaysian oil exploration vessel near contested waters.
Maritime Business World