The vessel crew, which includes 21 Chinese nationals, 10 Bangladeshis and one Malaysian, is being questioned by Malaysian authorities.
The Chinese Embassy has called for a fair investigation in accordance with the law following the detainment of a Chinese vessel by Malaysian authorities.
The salvage ship had been accused of plundering sunken World War 2 era British shipwrecks.
In a statement, the embassy urged the Malaysian authorities to “handle the case justly in accordance with the law”.
#China #Malaysia— 鳳凰資訊 PhoenixTV News (@PhoenixTV_News) May 31, 2023
🇨🇳 @MFA_China: The Chinese Embassy in Malaysia asks the Malaysian side to handle the case justly in accordance with the law, protect the security and lawful rights and interests of Chinese citizens and report the progress of the investigation in a timely manner. https://t.co/JCybHlkAhD pic.twitter.com/WKcXyaHQq8
The embassy also called for protecting Chinese citizens’ security and lawful rights and interests and promptly reporting the investigation’s progress.
The statement also noted that based on available information, the ship operated in Malaysian waters under the employment of a local Malaysian company.
Looting of WWII relics in South China Sea.— Jeff Ooi (@Jeff4Malaysia) May 31, 2023
Chinese embassy wanted a fair investigation to be carried out.
China's stand: The Chinese vessel that was detained by Malaysia had 'operated in Malaysian waters under the employment of a local Malaysian company'.
But China was… https://t.co/n6ecm4DwLs
Unexploded Shells Discovered On Board Vessel
Local authorities detained the ship earlier this month for allegedly plundering the HMS Repulse and HMS Prince of Wales that sank in Malaysian waters in 1941.
The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) caught up with the barge when it anchored illegally at 20.1 nautical miles east of Tanjung Siang off the coast of Johor.
The vessel, which had a crew complement of 32, including Chinese nationals and Bangladeshis, was detained by the MMEA Tanjung Sedili maritime zone for anchoring illegally.
A senior Malaysian maritime official told AFP that the pieces of metal and shells found on board could have originated from two sunken British warships.
A Malaysian onboard the salvage ship was also detained.
When the patrol team boarded the vessel, the crew members failed to present anchoring permission from the marine director-general.
The barge was also found carrying metals, and armaments believed to be from the sunken British warship.
The Chinese Embassy’s statement comes amid growing concerns over China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, where several countries, including Malaysia, have overlapping claims.