The waters off Indonesia's Natuna Islands hold reserves of natural gas and valuable fishery resources, MANA correspondent reported.
Indonesian coast guard forces have skirmished with groups of Chinese fishing vessels and Chinese coast guard ships within the EEZ in recent years, and Jakarta has responded to the incursions by increasing its military presence in the Natuna chain.
Arif Havas Oegroseno, the deputy of maritime sovereignty at Indonesia's Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, told Reuters that the renaming reflected the language currently in use in the region, and was "in line with the usual practice." Indonesian media report that the government will pursue official recognition of the new name with the International Hydrographic Organization.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that "certain countries' so-called renaming is totally meaningless." Beijing's claims in recent days. On Wednesday, the director of the Philippines Energy Resource Development Bureau, Ismael Ocampo, said that his ministry may lift a ban on oil and gas drilling at disputed Reed Bank as early as December.