No warships from China intruded into our waters, says Hisham

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PARLIAMENT No China ships and warships have intruded into Malaysia waters in the past five years, said Defence Minister Hishamuddin Hussein.

He, however, said the presence of the 83 China's vessels and warships was detected 12 nautical miles outside Malaysian waters.

"A total 83 of China's (warships and vessels) and 83 (warships and vessels) from other countries were detected 12 nautical miles off Malaysia waters and monitored by the Royal Malaysian Navy," he said.

The navy's ships and the Royal Malaysian Air Force's jets will monitor any ships entering Malaysian waters, he said in a written reply to Parliament today.

"(We will) lodge a diplomatic protest with the relevant country if (its ships) had taken suspicious passage (into Malaysian waters)," he told Ng Wei Aik (DAP-Tanjong).

Ng wanted to know the number of warships from China and other countries that had intruded into Malaysian waters.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Shahidan Kassim was reported as saying that Malaysia would take legal action if the ships were found to have trespassed into the country’s exclusive economic zone.

The reported encroachment was the latest action by Chinese vessels to raise concern in South-East Asia, where four countries object to China’s claim to virtually the whole of the South China Sea.

Last week, Indonesia protested to China about an incident involving an Indonesian patrol boat, and a Chinese coastguard vessel and fishing boat in what Indonesia said was its waters.

China has said its vessels were operating in “traditional Chinese fishing grounds” and its coastguard vessel did not enter Indonesian waters.

Indonesia is not embroiled in rival claims with China over the South China Sea and has instead seen itself as an “honest broker” in disputes between China and its neighbours.

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