China is after the gas and fishing reserves in the Natuna region, which belongs to Indonesia.
In the meantime, Indonesia is facing an invasion of Chinese fishing vessels guarded by armed Chinese vessels in the Natuna Sea.
The China Coast Guard is now everywhere in the South China Sea and is guarding Chinese fishermen plundering the reserves from other countries.
The Chinese invasion took a different angle on December 29, 2019, when it violated the boundaries of Indonesian sovereignty.
This is what Indonesia says, anyway.
But China says it is not in violation of anything since it has the nine-dash line which is not recognised by anyone.
Indonesia’s claim is that China is pushing away its fishermen, denying them a livelihood which has been theirs for generations.
The Chinese, reports say, is bringing in 30 Gross Tons (GT) vessels to enter the Natuna Seas to plough the fish reserves.
This attempt by the Chinese did heat up the tension with Indonesia.
The Indonesian government thought it would send thousands of vessels from the Java region to fight back.
It does not have the maritime capacity to tackle the Chinese invasion of its waters and will use fishermen instead.
But some reports are saying this might cause a sort of friction among fishermen. The locals in Natuna, reports say, may not agree with the Javanese fishermen coming to their ‘territory’.
China is arguing that its nine-dash line (which was the eleven dash line then) dates back from 1947 when the Kuomintang Party claimed its rights over the SCS.
But the Chinese authorities forget to inform that since the ousting of the Kuomintang Party in 1948, China was absent in the SCS.
It only recently showed interest in the seas surrounding the Asean.
Though the Communist Party in 1957 redrew the lines and called it the nine-dash line. Thus the CCP considers the Natuna Sea as China’s territory. But as we said earlier, the UN and the laws of the sea do not see eye-to-eye with China.
They are simply too late to come and claim the area from Indonesia and they will probably lose if it goes to court.
The Natuna Sea stretches for 3.5 million square km. It has abundant fish reserves large gas reserves. Probably the largest gas reserves in the world.
Experts estimate it holds 210 trillion cubic feet of untouched gas reserves.