Asserting sovereignty, Indonesia renames part of South China Sea

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Indonesia renamed the northern reaches of its exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea as the North Natuna Sea on Friday, the latest act of resistance by Southeast Asian nations to China`s territorial ambitions in the maritime region.
 
Jakarta: Indonesia renamed the northern reaches of its exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea as the North Natuna Sea on Friday, the latest act of resistance by Southeast Asian nations to China`s territorial ambitions in the maritime region.
 
Seen by analysts as an assertion of Indonesian sovereignty, part of the renamed sea is claimed by China under its contentious maritime boundary, known as the `nine-dash line`, that encompasses most of the resource-rich sea.
 
Several Southeast Asian states dispute China`s territorial claims and are competing with China to exploit the South China Sea`s abundant hydrocarbon and fishing resources. China has raised the ante by deploying military assets on artificial islands constructed on shoals and reefs in disputed parts of the sea.
 
 
Indonesia insists it`s a non-claimant state in the South China Sea dispute but has clashed with China over fishing rights around the Natuna Islands, detaining Chinese fishermen and expanding its military presence in the area over the past 18 months.
 
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