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South China Sea

Indonesia boosts South China Sea security ahead of energy project

Oil and gas development near Natuna Islands could spur tension with China

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, left, walks with Chinese President Xi Jinping during their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Nusa Dua, Indonesia, on Nov. 16.   © Pool photo/Reuters

JAKARTA -- Indonesia is working to secure its political interests around the Natuna Islands in the South China Sea as the country aims to begin development of oil and natural gas for future exports.

The Natuna archipelago lies within Indonesia's exclusive economic zone. But as the waters overlap with the area in the South China Sea claimed by Beijing under its self-proclaimed "nine-dash line," such development may arouse tensions with China.

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