Jakarta pushes for patrols by S-E Asian nations in South China Sea


SYDNEY • Indonesia has lobbied South-east Asian countries to carry out maritime patrols in the disputed South China Sea, claimed in most part by China, to improve security, Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu said yesterday.

Indonesia said it is a non-claimant state in the South China Sea dispute. However, it has clashed with China over fishing rights around the Natuna Islands, and has expanded its military presence in the area. It has also renamed the northern reaches of its exclusive economic zone, asserting its own maritime claim.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Defence Minister Marise Payne held talks yesterday with their Indonesian counterparts Retno Marsudi and Mr Ryacudu in Sydney, ahead of an Asean summit starting today.