Indonesian President Joko Widodo (centre) inspects troops on a navy ship at Selat Lampa Port in the Natuna Islands on January 8. Photo: AP

Why fishing boats are on the territorial front lines of the South China Sea

  • A stand-off between China and Indonesia near the Natuna Islands highlights the growing role civilian fishing fleets play in national claims
  • The deployments are dimming hopes for a code of conduct in the troubled waters, observers say
Topic |   South China Sea

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Indonesian President Joko Widodo (centre) inspects troops on a navy ship at Selat Lampa Port in the Natuna Islands on January 8. Photo: AP
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Laura Zhou

Laura Zhou

Laura Zhou joined the South China Morning Post's Beijing bureau in 2010. She covers China's diplomatic relations and has reported on topics such as Sino-US relations, China-India disputes, and reactions to the North Korea nuclear crisis, as well as other general news.