According to Indonesian President Joko Widodo, we need peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, specifically in political and security stability in order to improve economic gains.
Indonesia has also reiterated that China’s claim to 90% or 3.5 million kilometres of the South China Sea has no legal basis in any international law, in particular, their nine-dash line theory. The oil and gas rich territory is also claimed by the Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam and Taiwan, where an estimated $5 Trilllion of trade passes every year.
Back in 2009, Jakarta forwarded their official stance on the issue to the United Nations Commission on the Delimitation of the Continental Shelf by stating that the 9-dash line theory of Beijing is not recognized by any international law and nothing has changed ever since.
Indonesia has been a self-appointed broker in handling the various territorial dispute among its neighbours and China in regards the South China Sea and wants to remain that way.
China’s imaginary claim was first officially published on a map by China’s Nationalist government in 1947 and has continued to do so under the Communist rule.
Pres WIdodo is scheduled to visit Japan and China, his first after assuming the presidency in October, where he is expected to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, with their Defense Ministers expected to forge a defense agreement.
Japan has already strengthened its partnership with the Philippines and Vietnam, two other countries who are equally affected by China’s aggressive encroachment. The agreement is seen as a powerful counterbalance to Beijing.
Japan has its own territorial dispute with Beijing over an uninhabited island in the East China Sea. Recently, China expressed dismay at the Vietnamese head of the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) when he also rejected China’s 9-dash claim. AES / MCAG