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Indonesia’s Widodo Rebuffs China With Natuna Islands Visit

  • President travels to Natuna Islands, site of recent tensions
  • Beijing has sent coast guard to area to assert maritime rights
Joko Widodo.

Joko Widodo.

Photographer: Romeo Gacad/AFP via Getty Images
Updated on

President Joko Widodo flew to Indonesia’s Natuna Islands to underscore his country’s sovereignty over the surrounding waters after China outlined a claim over nearby fishing grounds.

The trip by Widodo, also known as Jokowi, comes a week after Indonesia’s navy detained a Chinese vessel fishing off the islands and arrested seven fishermen. China’s foreign ministry said Monday that China has no territorial sovereignty dispute with Indonesia, “yet the two countries have overlapping claims for maritime rights and interests over some part of the South China Sea.”