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....
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