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Jakarta Post

Govt to build military base near South China Sea

  • The Jakarta Post

    The Jakarta Post

  /   Fri, July 10, 2015   /  04:21 pm

The Indonesian government announced on Friday a plan to construct a new military base to guard border areas near South China Sea.

Defence Ministry held a meeting on Friday with The National Development Planning Board (Bappenas) to discuss the plan.

'€œOur meeting today is aimed at synchronizing our ambition to guard the national interest and protect the sovereignty of our territory,'€ Bappenas chief Andrinof Chaniago said as quoted by Antara news agency.

Andrinof said he proposed the establishment of a joint research team to carry out the plan. He said there were several potential locations for the base. So far, the options referred to were areas in Sambas, West Kalimantan; Natuna Islands, Riau Islands and Tarakan, North Kalimantan.

'€œThe findings from the team will be conveyed to President Jokowi [Joko Widodo], who will make his decision. We hope that in the near future, the plan will be realized,'€ he said.

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu said that an Indonesian military base in the territory is urgent considering the high potential of future conflict between different countries.

'€œI previously worked in West Kalimantan and I believe that building a military base in that territory is a very good decision. We have natural resources that we need to guard,'€ said Ryamizard, who was the Army Chief of Staff under the Megawati administration.

Ryamizard, therefore, welcomed Bappenas'€™ proposal.

'€œI don'€™t want to see a Sipadan-Ligitan conflict occurring again under the current administration. The Defense Ministry is ready to support the plan,'€ he said, referring to the two small Islands off East Kalimantan that have previously been a source of conflict between Indonesia and Malaysia. (ika)(++++)

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