Intelligence, training help on cards for Indonesia over China dispute

China claims the islands as traditional fishing grounds within its Nine Dash Line territorial claim of the South China Sea, which an international tribunal rejected in 2016. Part of Australia’s commitment to help Indonesia is expected to include greater intelligence sharing. Royal Australian Air Force planes patrol the South China Sea. Mr Jennings, a former senior Defence Department official, said Australia’s offer was “definitely a good thing” and that Jakarta was amenable given tensions in the past over asylum seekers using Indonesia as a jumping off point for voyages to…

Duterte wary of US role in South China Sea dispute

President Duterte is not just afraid that a war in the South China Sea would crush the country—he’s also wary that American troops would take advantage and the conflict would spiral out of control. Reiterating that he will not make a reckless move in the dispute, the President admitted his fears that an intervention by the United States might push the conflict in an unforeseen direction. “It would be a reckless move if I send out just like Vietnam small vessels only to get a bloody nose at the end…

‘Let time heal,’ Duterte says of South China Sea dispute

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte said he would prefer to “let time heal” rather than make a fierce stance on the continuing territorial dispute over the South China Sea. In an interview aired Friday by Russian television network RT, the President cautioned the response may not be “contained” should the Philippines make a “reckless move” like Vietnam. “The other side really wants to do a more aggressive stance, and I cannot afford to do it,” Duterte said, referring to Vietnam. “I cannot afford a stand where I will be…

ASEAN closes ranks over South China Sea dispute – Tue, January 21 2020

China’s new envoy to ASEAN has arrived in Jakarta facing growing pressure from the increasingly vigilant bloc as its top diplomats put more emphasis on compliance to international law in ongoing negotiations for a final and binding code of conduct (COC) on the South China Sea.Ambassador Deng Xijun arrived in the Indonesian capital over the weekend and submitted his credentials to ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi on Monday, marking the formal start of his duties in Southeast Asia.Speaking to reporters after his meeting with Lim, Ambassador Deng said there had…

Indonesia recruits fishermen in South China Sea dispute

Indonesia says it will mobilise fishing crews in the South China Sea to help expel Chinese vessels from Indonesian waters.  President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced: “There is no negotiation when it comes to our sovereignty.” The standoff around Indonesia’s northern Natuna islands – where a Chinese coastguard ship has been guarding fishing vessels – has damaged previously convivial relations with China.  On January 11, three Indonesian naval ships expelled more than 50 Chinese ships from its exclusive economic zone in the Natuna Sea north of Borneo. Numerous incursions in the…

Why Indonesia keeps sending mixed signals on the Natuna sea dispute with China

Indonesia has been sending mixed signals in responding to China’s breach of its exclusive economic zone around the Natuna Islands, near the South China Sea. The Natuna sea is within 200 nautical miles (370 kilometres) of Indonesia’s coastline, making it part of Indonesia’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Since December 19, 2019, Chinese fishing vessels have trespassed into the waters around the Natuna Islands, violating Indonesia’s sovereignty as regulated by the 1982’s United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Despite telling China to back out of its waters by…