China’s South China Sea Moves Provoke Tension, Reactions


China’s aggressive moves to claim disputed territory in the South China Sea took a new turn in March when a Chinese coast guard boat entered Indonesian waters far from the China mainland.

The Chinese vessel rammed and retrieved a Chinese fishing boat that had been detained by Indonesia for fishing illegally in Indonesian waters.

An Indonesian official said that the Chinese coast guard had violated Indonesian sovereignty and urged China to respect international law.

Indonesia claims that the Chinese coast guard vessel entered Indonesian waters less than three miles (four kilometers) from the Natuna Islands.

This is well within Indonesia’s 12-nautical mile territorial limit and its 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

China’s incursion into Indonesian coastal waters is unusual in that it occurred so far from the China mainland and involved a country, Indonesia, which does not make claims that conflict with China’s own claims to disputed reefs and atolls in the South China Sea.