Tag Archives: Indonesia

Indonesia to summon Chinese envoy after boat confrontation

JAKARTA: Indonesia will summon the Chinese envoy in Jakarta after a confrontation between vessels from the two countries in the South China Sea, a minister said Sunday. The incident happened Saturday when surveillance vessels chased and caught a Chinese fishing boat allegedly operating in waters near the Indonesian Natuna Islands without a permit, Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti said. As the Chinese fishing boat was being towed away by the Indonesians, a Chinese coast guard vessel approached and collided with the fishing boat. A bigger Chinese coast guard vessel approached later and the Indonesians decided to leave the fishing boat, she said. “We respect a big country like China, and China should also respect the sovereignty of Indonesia and respect that we are at war with illegal fishing,” Pudjiastuti told reporters. She urged the foreign ministry in Jakarta to lodge a “strong protest” over the “arrogance” of the Chinese vessels. The fisheries ministry will summon the Chinese envoy in Jakarta, the minister’s spokeswoman confirmed to AFP. http://www.thesundaily.my/news/1733603

Indonesia has nothing to do with South China Sea, Jokowi Says

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said that the South China Sea conflict was one of the issues discussed by ASEAN member states along with the United States in the US-ASEAN Summit in Sunnylands Center, California, February 15, 2016. However, Jokowi said that Indonesia would not be involved in the conflict because the country’s territorial water does not border the disputed region. “Indonesia is not included in the South China Sea territory, so there’s nothing to settle,” Jokowi said in an interview with the press, including Tempo at the Miramonte Resort, California, United States. http://en.tempo.co/read/news/2016/02/16/074745392/Indonesia-has-nothing-to-do-with-South-China-Sea-Jokowi-Says

Indonesia is building a “Pearl Harbor” in the South China Sea complete with fighter jets

The Natuna archipelago, a remote part of Indonesia in the South China Sea, consists of about 280 sleepy islands. Inhabitants there survive mostly on fishing or farming. It seems an unlikely place for a military buildup, but this week Indonesian defense minister Ryamizard Ryacudu told Kyodo News that his military plans to send soldiers, three warships, and a fleet of fighter jets to the islands, as well as upgrade a small military base there. The increased militarization of Natuna is Indonesia’s latest move to strengthen its defenses in the South China Sea, where it has begun to challenge Beijing’s claims that about 90% of the highly trafficked waterway is Chinese territory. Indonesia may be partnering with Japan as it does. Ryacudu will be part of “two-plus-two” security talks in Tokyo today (Dec. 17). The discussions involve the foreign and defense ministers of Indonesia and Japan, which is peddling military hardware in the region, thanks to the lifting of a ban last year that had prevented it from doing so. Part of Ryacudu’s visit to Japan could involve a trip to a manufacturer of amphibious aircraft, reports the Japan Times. Read more: http://qz.com/575189/indonesia-will-send-fighter-jets-to-its-pearl-harbor-in-the-south-china-sea/

Indonesia looks to boost defenses around Natuna Islands in South China Sea

JAKARTA – Indonesia plans to strengthen its capability to defend its land and waters in the South China Sea, namely the Natuna Islands around which the country has declared an exclusive economic zone that overlaps with China’s “nine-dash line” maritime claim, its defense minister said Tuesday. “The Natuna Islands are our outer islands. It is quite natural and logical that a country has to secure its outer islands,” Ryamizard Ryacudu said in an interview, speaking to Kyodo News ahead of “two-plus-two” security talks in Tokyo on Thursday that will involve the foreign and defense ministers of Indonesia and Japan. “We have to strengthen our military capability to anticipate any threats like illegal fishing or something like illicit intrusion and many kinds of nontraditional threats entering into our territory,” he added. According to Ryamizard, Indonesia plans to deploy a fleet of jet fighters and three corvettes to the islands, revamp its naval and air force base and deploy more troops. Read more: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/12/16/asia-pacific/politics-diplomacy-asia-pacific/indonesia-looks-boost-defenses-around-natuna-islands-south-china-sea/#.VnTvypN95n6

Indonesia to voice concerns on China’s maritime claims at ASEAN summit

JAKARTA – Indonesia will openly express its opposition to China’s vast claims in the South China Sea when Southeast Asian senior officials, ministers and leaders gather over the coming days in Kuala Lumpur for a series of annual meetings, stressing that China’s “nine-dash lines” map has no legal basis, a government source said Friday. The area contained in the lines, which covers most of the South China Sea, overlaps with the exclusive economic zone around Indonesia’s Natuna Islands. Indonesia protested against China’s map when it was submitted to the United Nations in May 2009. The source, citing a position paper, said Indonesia will say during meetings of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations that it does not recognize China’s claims based on the nine-dash line map because it “clearly lacks international legal basis,” and therefore Jakarta considers the claims to be in a state of “non-existence.” Although Indonesia is not a claimant state in the territorial disputes in the South China Sea, it has been warily monitoring China’s development of infrastructure there, including rig and lighthouse construction, as well as its seismic surveys and fishing activities, the paper says. It says Indonesia will stress that it has sovereignty over maritime territory in Natuna Sea and some parts of the South China Sea and therefore needs “to maintain its sovereignty and its sovereign rights in each maritime zone.” Through diplomatic channels and notes, Indonesia has been repeatedly seeking clarification from China on the nine-dash line, which was shown on a map published in 1947 by the then-Republic of China to justify its claims in the South China Sea, but to no avail, the source said. The source said Indonesia will continue playing a positive role in helping to resolve the disputes among the claimants on occasions such as the ASEAN-China Senior Officials’ Meeting and during meetings with China aimed at drafting a legally binding code of conduct in the South China Sea. Read more: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/11/21/asia-pacific/indonesia-voice-concerns-chinas-maritime-claims-asean-summit/#.VlEuLd8rLaa

Najib: Resolve South China Sea issue through peaceful means

Disputes on territorial claims over the South China Sea should be resolved through peaceful means and in accordance with international laws, said Najib Abdul Razak. Opening the 27th Asean Summit at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, the Malaysian prime minister urged all parties to the disputes to exercise restraint. “We stress the importance of resolving disputes through peaceful means, in accordance with international laws including UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea). “We call on all parties to exercise restraint and avoid actions that would complicate or escalate tension,” he said. Read more: https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/320469

Indonesia May Take China To Court Over South China Sea

Jakarta is contemplating the possibility of taking China before an international court if Beijing refuses to back down on its claims over the majority of the South China Sea and part of Indonesian territory through dialogue. Beijing claims almost the entire South China Sea with a nine-dash line that stretches deep into the maritime hub of Southeast Asia and includes the Natuna islands, which are claimed by Indonesia. Indonesia says that the Chinese claim over parts of the Natuna islands has no legal basis whatsoever. “We are working very hard on this. We are trying to approach the Chinese,” Luhut Panjaitan told reporters. “We would like to see a solution on this in the near future through dialogue, or we could bring it to the International Criminal Court.” Panjaitan might have mistakenly told reporters about taking the country’s grievances to the International Criminal Court considering that it only deals with the most serious crimes of concern to the international community. It appears that he meant the Permanent Court of Arbitration as the international tribunal to solve the South China Sea issue. The security chief also stated that Indonesia is not out to take any violent action in a bid to find a solution before stating that many other countries are equally affected by the issue. “We don’t want to see any power projection in this area. We would like a peaceful solution by promoting dialogue. The nine-dash line is a problem we are facing, but not only us. It also directly (impacts) the interests of Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam and the Philippines.” Moreover, Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Armanatha Nasir says that Jakarta does not recognize the Chinese nine-dash line as it is not in line with international law. Read more: http://www.valuewalk.com/2015/11/indonesia-considers-taking-china-court-south-china-sea/

Regional superpower’ has encroached into Malaysia’s maritime territory: DPM Ahmad Zahid

KOTA KINABALU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – A regional superpower has encroached into maritime territory by constructing airstrips, jetties and other facilities on three atolls just 155km from Sabah, says Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. Without naming the superpower concerned, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid said the country’s motives of building the facilities 3,218km from its mainland were questionable. “To claim this part of the South China Sea as theirs due to historical narrative is invalid,” Dr Ahmad Zahid said when opening the Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) congress in Kota Kinabalu on Saturday (Nov 14). Read more: http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/regional-superpower-has-encroached-into-malaysias-maritime-territory-dpm-ahmad-zahid

Would Indonesia Actually Challenge China’s Nine-Dash Line in International Court?

A top Indonesian official recently said his country was seeking clarification on the extent of Chinese claims to the South China Sea – and could take China to international court if that clarity isn’t forthcoming. Luhut Pandjaitan, the chief of staff to Indonesian President Joko Widodo as well as Jakarta’s coordinating minister for political, legal, and security affairs, made the comments on Wednesday. According to Reuters, Panjaitan called China’s “nine-dash line,” which claims most of the South China Sea for Beijing, “a problem we are facing,” saying that “we don’t want to see any power projection in this area.” It’s not only a problem for Indonesia, either – the nine-dash line “also directly (impacts) the interests of Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam, and the Philippines,” Panjaitan added. “We are working very hard on this. We are trying to approach the Chinese,” Panjaitan said. “We would like to see a solution on this in the near future through dialogue, or we could bring it to the International Criminal Court.” As my colleague Prashanth Parameswaran has explained before, Indonesia walks a fine line when it comes to the South China Sea disputes. On one hand, Jakarta is not a claimant to any of the disputed features in the South China Sea, so it positions itself as a neutral party (and potential mediator). However, Indonesia is also concerned about depictions of China’s nine-dash line that would seem to indicate Beijing claims waters that are part of Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone (specifically, the EEZ generated by the Natuna Islands, located in the southwest corner of China’s nine-dash line). Jakarta has tried numerous times to get China to clarify its claims, but so far Beijing has stuck to purposeful ambiguity as to the extent and meaning of the nine-dash line. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei declined to see any cause for controversy. “The Indonesian side has no territorial claim to China’s Nansha [Spratly] Islands. The Chinese side has no objection to Indonesia’s sovereignty over the Natuna islands,” he told a press conference on Thursday. Hong added that the “China-Indonesia comprehensive strategic partnership is making steady and sound progress.” As for the question of an international legal case, Hong once again reiterated China’s stance that the South China Sea disputes must be resolved “through negotiations and consultations with countries directly concerned.” China has repeatedly refused to participate in the Philippines’ arbitration case on the South China Sea issue. While visiting Manila to plan for Chinese President Xi Jinping’s upcoming attendance at the APEC summit, Foreign Minister Wang Yi called the case “a knot that has impeded the improvement and development of Sino-Philippine relations.” Given the diplomatic consequences China has imposed on Manila for its arbitration case, how seriously should we take Pandjaitan’s remarks that Indonesia might undertake legal action to get clarity on the nine-dash line? As Parameswaran has pointed out, taking one-off remarks from Indonesia officials as signs of government policy shifts can be dangerous. It’s also telling that Pandjaitan references the International Criminal Court, which typically deals with war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity, when he likely meant the International Court of Justice (or even the Permanent Court of Arbitration, where the Philippines has filed its suit against China). Read more: http://thediplomat.com/2015/11/would-indonesia-actually-challenge-chinas-nine-dash-line-in-international-court/

Indonesia Hints at South China Sea Litigation

Could we be witnessing a legal cascade in the South China Sea? Most states with claims have thus far eschewed formal legal challenges to China, but that could be changing. In the wake of the Philippines’ legal victory against China (if only on jurisdictional questions), Indonesia’s security chief has suggested that his country might also challenge Chinese claims Read more: https://www.lawfareblog.com/indonesia-hints-south-china-sea-litigation