Indonesian Foreign Minister Ritno Marsoudi said in a hypothetical press conference with the international media on Thursday (16/7) that Indonesia is concerned about the escalating tension in the South China Sea. He added that every country hopes that the conflict will subside soon and the situation will calm down.
“Respect for international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, is the key to making the South China Sea stable and peaceful,” Ritno said. “Indonesia’s position in the South China Sea is clear and consistent, and once again it is respect for international law including an agreement.” The United Nations Law of the Sea 1982 is essential and must be supported by all. ”
He added that Indonesia’s position on Indonesia’s sovereign rights over the exclusive economic zone or exclusive economic zone was very clear and consistent. This position is consistent with UNCLOS 1982, and is supported by the 2016 UNCLOS session.
“Indonesia stresses the importance of all countries’ contribution to maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea, and calls on all countries to refrain from measures that may increase tension in the region,” Ritno stressed.
China summons the American ambassador
China called on the US ambassador to warn again against interfering in his internal interests. The escalation of Sino-US relations is partly linked to the conflicts in Hong Kong and the South China Sea.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Ziguang told US Ambassador Terry Branstad that he strongly warned the United States that any suppression and injustice committed by the United States against China would get a severe counter-attack from China and the U.S. efforts to hinder development. In China you will face failure.
Zheng Zhejiang told Ambassador Branstad that the United States “interfered in China’s internal affairs and harmed Chinese interests in the issues of Xinjiang, Tibet and the South China Sea, which also revealed the validity of its hegemony,” according to the Zheng Ziguang report, according to a report on Wednesday (7/15) organized by Government media.
Moreover, Zheng urged the United States not to go “on the wrong track.” The US embassy did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Tension flows into the South China Sea
China’s claims to areas in the South China Sea have long been a source of anger with a number of countries in Asia such as Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia. China has sent patrols to warn Malaysia and Vietnam against exploring oil and gas in their exclusive economic regions.
Meanwhile, fishing vessels flying the Chinese flag enter and exit freely from neighboring countries, including Indonesia, which borders the shores of the South China Sea. Fishermen from Vietnam and the Philippines also protested against the unilateral ban on fishing in Beijing.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that China’s aggressive claims against the South China Sea are not in line with international law. Pompeo also said on Wednesday that he was ready to support countries whose borders China had violated. This statement was welcomed by various countries, one of which is Vietnam.
Indonesia calls to all countries to resist on South China Sea conflict
“Vietnam welcomes the position of other countries on the South China Sea issue in line with international law, as stated at the 36th ASEAN Summit that the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea is the legal framework governing all activities at sea,” the ministry spokesman said. Vietnam, Le Thi Thu Hang.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who is from Australia, said on Thursday that his country will “continue vigorously” to defend freedom of navigation in the South China Sea,
“Australia will continue to adopt a very consistent position,” Morrison told a news conference in Canberra, when asked if his country supports the US position in the South China Sea.
Beijing claims almost all of the South China Sea as its territory and has built artificial islands with military facilities capable of coral reefs and protrusions in the region, which are partly claimed by Vietnam as well.
Taiwan obtained a military training certificate
Meanwhile, in anticipation of escalating conflict with China, the Taiwan military on Thursday conducted exercises and a show of force as well. During the military exercises, attack helicopters fired missiles and fighter planes, dropping bombs on targets at sea, while tanks and missile trucks launched from the coast to prevent the invasion forces.
“We want the world to see our determination and efforts to protect our country,” President Cai Ing-wen said on Thursday. This exercise is part of an annual exercise that lasts for five days and ends on Friday (7/17).
China regards Taiwan as a breakaway province that forms part of its territory. The island, with a population of 24 million, is located 160 kilometers off the southeast coast of China and is bordered by the Taiwan Strait.
President Cai Ing-won, who won his re-election last January, promised to defend Taiwan from China. He promised to make military modernization in Taiwan a top priority. Last year, defense spending in Taiwan increased more quickly than was allocated for a decade.
Additional report from Jakarta by Rizky Akbar Putra
ae / vlz (AP, Reuters, SCMP, dpa)