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Jakarta Post

INSIGHT: Should Indonesia and Australia jointly patrol the South China Sea?

  • Evan A. Laksmana
    Evan A. Laksmana

    Researcher at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)

Seattle   /   Mon, March 13, 2017   /  08:35 am
INSIGHT: Should Indonesia and Australia jointly patrol the South China Sea? Stronger ties: President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and his counterpart Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. (Courtesy of the Presidential Office/File)

In an interview with The Australian shortly before his visit to Sydney on Feb. 26 and 27, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo reportedly opened the door for Indonesia and Australia to jointly patrol the South China Sea. This notion, however, never made its way to the joint statement or the Joint Declaration on Maritime Cooperation issued at the end of the visit. Subsequently, on the sidelines of the Indian Ocean Rim Association Summit in Jakarta last week, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull downplayed the idea further. Similarly, Indonesian officials never confirmed specific plans for a joint patrol as such. Instead, they reiterated the shared strategic interest with Australia and the cooperative opportunities in the broader maritime domain. This rise and fall of the “South China Sea joint patrol” narrative is reminisc...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.