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A 'scrap of paper' in the water

China has not accepted a ruling denying its claim to energy-rich territory in the South China Sea. It may heighten tensions in the area

The untapped East Natuna gas- and oilfield in Indonesian waters could become the next flash point in the South China Sea following the comprehensive setback that China received in the ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in mid-July. China continues to claim the field, and others, in defiance of the ruling that clearly asserts neighbouring nations' rights under their respective Exclusive Economic Zones. Indeed, it declared the 497-page ruling "a mere scrap of paper". China's defiance creates problems for ExxonMobil, which shares exploration rights in East Natuna with Pertamina, and other American operators active in the disputed waters. The US can be expected to back American compa

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