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The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) informed the local media that the trespassers were detained in off the shore of the southern state of Johor. The mission was conducted on Friday, WION reported.
"Further checks found that all the vessels registered in Qinhuangdoa, China, were manned by six captains and 54 crew who are Chinese nationals aged between 31 and 60 years," MMEA regional director Mohd Zulfadli Nayan said in a statement.
As per the initial investigations, the vessels were en route to Mauritania and had to make an unexpected stop in the country due to probable technical malfunctioning of the vessels.
Earlier this year, a Chinese research ship spent a month surveying in Malaysia's exclusive economic zone, amid a standoff with a Malaysian oil exploration vessel near disputed waters, as reported by Reuters.
China's trespassing in the Malasian waters has increased to nearly 90 such incidents between 2016 and 2019. This has come at a point when the US and China are fighting to claim portions of the South China sea.
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