Natuna Islands


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Natuna Islands,

island group (2010 pop. 69,300), 769 sq mi (1,993 sq km), Riau prov., Indonesia, in the South China Sea between the Malay Peninsula (W) and Borneo (E). The more than 250 islands are part of the larger Tudjuh Archipelago; Bunguran is the largest island. The islands' products include timber and coconuts. There are large reserves of natural gas offshore in Indonesia's exclusive economic zone, which has led to tensions with China, which has asserted claims to much of the South China SeaSouth China Sea,
western arm of the Pacific Ocean, c.1,000,000 sq mi (2,590,000 sq km), between the SE Asian mainland and Taiwan, the Philippines, and Borneo. It is connected with the East China Sea by the Taiwan Strait.
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References in periodicals archive ?
In another incident, its naval corvette fired a volley of shots at 12 Chinese fishing boats close to Natuna islands when these did not heed the Indonesian warnings.
While not a claimant, Indonesia has clashed with Beijing over fishing rights around the Natuna Islands and expanded its military presence there.
According to ReCAAP, the waters around the remote Natuna Islands, which sit between peninsular Malaysia and Borneo but belong to Indonesia, are a hot spot for piracy and illegal fuel transfers.
In the absence of support from the Philippines, Vietnam has sought to improve ties with Indonesia, which has shown signs of pushing back against Chinese encroachment near the Natuna Islands that Beijing claims are part of its traditional fishing grounds.
Indonesia claims not to be directly involved in South China Sea disputes, but has shown a resolve to protect its territory by fortifying the Natuna Islands and blowing up Chinese boats fishing illegally in its waters.
Indonesiainsists 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.
Last month, Widodo commented on the possibility of joint patrols in the South China Sea - mostly Indonesia's Natuna Islands.
This team has now moved to a new subject, with this handy book on the mammals of Borneo (including the Natuna Islands) that ranges well beyond its modest title of field guide.
Upon closer examination, however, the statement appears to be yet another example of Indonesia's inconsistent approach to the South China Sea, as well as to increasing encroachments by China into the country's 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) around the Natuna Islands. Indeed, just a few weeks prior to the ruling, Indonesian President Joko Widodo (better known as Jokowi) staged a symbolic "show of force" by visiting the Natunas aboard the same warship that fired on Chinese fishing vessels operating in the area the week before.
Indonesia's navy said it had fired warning shots at several boats with Chinese flags that it accused of fishing illegally near the Natuna Islands - but a spokesman told Reuters there had been no injuries.
Global Asia notes that even though China has not made a formal claim on the Natuna Islands, its "vague and ever expanding Nine Dash Line" certainly includes them on the map as part of the area China claims.