Indonesia Ups The Ante In Disputed South China Sea, Oil And Gas Lurks In The Background


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Activists hold a protest in front of the Chinese Consular Office in Manila on Jun. 12. The protesters shouted slogans against China’s reclamation and construction activities on islands and reefs in the Spratly Group of the South China Sea. (NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images)

The noose finally appears to be closing on China, well at least a little. First, the Philippines scored a major geopolitical victory last month when The Hague agreed to hear its claim against Beijing’s recent land grabbing and subsequent land reclamation activities in Scarborough Shoal and the Spratly Islands (claimed by both China and the Philippines) in the South China Sea. According to the UN’s mandated 200-nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), much of the area in dispute actually does lie within Manila’s EEZ. Not to be deterred and with little options due to its limited military and economic muscle, Manila now not only has the world watching even closer to its apparent legitimate claims, Indonesia has also called China’s bluff.

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