Dozens of Chinese vessels which were fishing in Indonesia’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in Natuna are leaving the area, the Indonesian military said on Thursday, after days of stand-off.
The Chinese vessels entered the Natuna waters, near the disputed South China Sea last month, prompting Indonesia to summon the Chinese ambassador in Jakarta and deploying eight warships as well as four fighter jets to the area.
“The Chinese fishing vessels are gone, they are leaving the area heading north,” Commander of Joint Defense Area Command I, Vice Admiral Yudo Margono said in Jakarta.
“They are all getting out (of Indonesia’s EEZ).”
Indonesian authorities previously spotted three Chinese coast guard vessels in Natuna and as of Thursday, two were still in the area.
“The coast guards are mobile and today they were heading to Malaysia ... They were heading straight,” Vice Admiral Margono added.
This came just a day after presidency Joko Widodo visited Natura to assert Indonesia's sovereignty.
Despite the Chinese vessels leaving the Indonesian EEZ, Indonesia will continue to secure the area. As of Thursday, there are seven warships and four fighter jets in Natuna, according to the authorities.