Following the sighting of the Chinese Air Force military aircraft entering Malaysia’s airspace on last Monday (31 May), a Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) ship was found encroaching the waters of Malaysia.
The CCG ship was discovered last Friday (4 June) by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) at Beting Patinggi Ali, located just 84 nautical miles off the coast of Miri.
As reported by Malay Mail, MMAE Head Captain, Md Fauzi Othman confirmed that they received a report on the CCG encroaching into the Malaysian waters and the Royal Malaysian Navy (TLDM) have been monitoring the situation closely.
He said that assets were deployed near Beting Patinggi Ali all year round to monitor the waters to ensure the sovereignty of the country.
He added that the MMAE often receive reports of sightings of the CCG vessels at Beting Patinggi Ali from the local fishermen. Beting Patinggi Ali is also known as Luconia Shoals and it is one of the largest and least-known reef complexes in the South China Sea.
Prior to this, the authorities have also confirmed that a CCG vessel has been anchored in the area since 2013.
In fact, the “China intrudes the border of Malaysia and Malaysia” matter is nothing new. Last July, the Malaysian Government had submitted a diplomatic correspondence (note verbale) to the United Nations, protesting strongly against China’s crossing of the maritime boundary.
Meanwhile, according to the audit reports from the National Audit Department (NAD) in 2018, between 2016 and 2019, CCG vessels and People’s Liberation Army Navy (Plan) have invaded the the Malaysian waters as many as 89 times.
The NAD believes that the matter is a serious issue as it involves the sovereignty and security of the Malaysian waters. China has repeatedly claimed sovereignty over this waters.
The report pointed out that although the TLDM is capable of safeguarding the sovereignty of the Beting Patinggi Ali.