Indonesia rebuffs China’s demand that fishermen be released

March 23, 2016 2:18 PM

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JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesia has refused Chinese demands that it release eight fishermen arrested for illegal fishing, and accused China on Wednesday of sharply raising tensions in the region by rescuing their seized boat.

Tensions flared after an Indonesian Fisheries Ministry patrol ship intercepted the Chinese fishing vessel on Saturday off the Natuna islands, which overlap the southernmost reaches of the South China Sea, according to Indonesian officials.

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