Jakarta. The Indonesian government will not respond to a protest note sent by the Chinese government after the Navy fired warning shots at several Chinese fishing boats near the Natuna Islands in Riau Islands province, Vice President Jusuf Kalla said on Tuesday (21/06).
Kalla hinted that the government would instead provide a direct explanation to the Chinese representative in Indonesia.
"It should be explained; [the protest note] should be answered. We will summon them to explain," Kalla said in Jakarta.
He also confirmed that Indonesia has decided to take firm legal measures against Chinese-flagged boats caught looting fish in Indonesia.
"We have taken action. It was an individual act. What they are protesting against is the [Indonesian] government," he added.
However, similar to Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi's earlier statement, Kalla denied that there had been any casualties when the Indonesian Navy fired the warning shots, as claimed by the Chinese government.
Based on the Chinese government's protest note, the shots allegedly injured a crewmember on one of the Chinese-flagged boats.
"Those were warning shots. […] Nobody was injured. As long as we guard our waters, we have to guard it well," Kalla said.
Marine Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti previously said there were no instructions from President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to respond to the protest note, adding that such response would be the responsibility of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.