Jakarta Post

Please Update your browser

Your browser is out of date, and may not be compatible with our website. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found below.
Just click on the icons to get to the download page.

Jakarta Post
Jakarta Post
Video 27°C
DKI Jakarta, Indonesia
27°C Light Rain

Rain until tonight, starting again tomorrow afternoon.

  • Mon

    24℃ - 31℃

  • Tue

    25℃ - 31℃

  • Wed

    24℃ - 31℃

  • Thu

    26℃ - 30℃

Indonesia leader calls for restraint in South China Sea

  • Matthew Pennington

    The Jakarta Post

Washington | Wed, October 28 2015 | 06:37 am
Vice President Joe Biden shakes hands with Indonesian President Joko Widodo as he arrives for lunch at the Naval Observatory, Tuesday, in Washington. (AP/Andrew Harnik)(AP/Andrew Harnik)

Vice President Joe Biden shakes hands with Indonesian President Joko Widodo as he arrives for lunch at the Naval Observatory, Tuesday, in Washington. (AP/Andrew Harnik)

Indonesia's president called Tuesday for all parties in the disputed South China Sea to exercise restraint and for China and Southeast Asia's regional bloc to start discussions on the substance of a code of conduct to manage tensions there.

President Joko Widodo was speaking in Washington, hours after a U.S. Navy warship sailed past one of China's artificial islands in the Spratly Islands archipelago in a challenge to Chinese sovereignty claims, drawing an angry protest from Beijing.

Widodo, who met President Barack Obama on Monday, did not directly refer to the U.S. action. He said Indonesia supports freedom of navigation but also underlined his nation's neutrality.

Indonesia has islands that may fall within China's expansive maritime claims in the South China Sea, but doesn't count itself as one of the claimants to the disputed islands and reefs.

"Indonesia is not a party to the dispute but we have a legitimate interest in peace and stability there. We call on all parties to exercise restraint and refrain from taking actions that could undermine trust and confidence and put at risk the peace and stability of the region," he told the Brookings Institution think tank.

He said Indonesia, the largest nation in Southeast Asia, is ready to play "an active role" in resolving the dispute.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, and China have made little headway in the past decade on negotiating a binding code of conduct in the South China Sea, which is a major conduit for world trade.

China says virtually all of the South China Sea belongs to it, while Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam claim either parts or all of it. Since 2013, China has accelerated the creation of new outposts by piling sand atop reefs and atolls then adding buildings, ports and airstrips big enough to handle bombers and fighter jets.

Tuesday's sail-past was Washington's most significant effort to date demonstrate that China's manmade islands cannot be considered sovereign territory with the right to surrounding territorial waters.

Beijing, however, said the move damaged U.S.-China relations and regional peace. (kes)

NEWS PULSE

TRY A DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTION

Join the discussions

0 Comments

Posting as Guest