‘No Reason to Negotiate’ With Beijing on South China Sea

Sandra Loyd

The Indonesian foreign minister stated Thursday there was “no reason to negotiate” as she declared Jakarta’s position that it has no overlapping claims with Beijing in the South China Sea, days after Indonesia sent out the U.N. chief another letter on the subject.

The diplomatic letter to United Nations Secretary- General António Guterres, dated June 12, remained in action to one sent by China to the U.N. chief 10 days previously. In its letter, Beijing had actually welcomed Jakarta to negotiate what it called “overlapping claims of maritime rights and interests” in the objected to sea area.

“Indonesia’s position is very clear that … based on UNCLOS 1982 there are no overlapping claims with China. Therefore, there is no reason to negotiate,” Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi stated throughout an interview in Jakarta, referring to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

In its most current letter to Guterres, Indonesia mentioned that features in the Spratly Islands– a chain in the South China Sea– were not entitled to an unique financial zone (EEZ) or continental rack and for that reason might not overlap with Indonesia’s EEZ or continental rack.

It likewise turned down China’s claim of historical rights in parts of the sea that do overlap Indonesia’s EEZ and stated that even if any such rights existed, they had actually been superseded by arrangements in UNCLOS 1982.

Indonesia “sees no legal reasoning under international law, particularly UNCLOS 1982, to conduct negotiation on maritime boundaries delimitation with the People’s Republic of China or on any other matters pertaining to maritime rights or interests’ claims made in contravention to international law,” the letter stated.

Beijing’s letter requiring a settlement, dated June 2, was reacting to a first diplomatic note sent out by Indonesia to the U.N. secretary-general on May 26, in which Jakarta turned down China’s Nine-Dash Line map or claim of historic rights to almost all of the tactical waterway.

“There is no territorial dispute between China and Indonesia in the South China Sea. However, China and Indonesia have overlapping claims on maritime rights and interests in some parts of the South China Sea,” China’s long-term objective to the United Nations stated in its letter.

“China is willing to settle the overlapping claims through negotiation and consultation with Indonesia, and work together with Indonesia to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea,” the letter stated.

The notes were amongst a flurry of files from members of the Association of Southeast Asian Countries (ASEAN) and China following a Malaysian submission to the U.N. in December2019 The Malaysian federal government declared sovereignty over an extended continental rack in the South China Sea off its northern coast, possibly a location with substantial undersea resources.

Consistent objection

A specialist on international relations at Gadjah Mada University, I Made Andi Arsana, stated it was very important for Indonesia to continue with its objection to China’s claims.

“It must be done continuously because that is also what China is doing with their claims,” he informed BenarNews, an RFA-affiliated online news service

“Falsehoods that are repeated enough times without objections can seem like truth,” he stated.

The Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam– all ASEAN members– are amongst countries that, together with China and Taiwan, have completing claims in the South China Sea.

Indonesia is not amongst the complaintant countries, however in early 2020 and in 2016, stress flared in between Jakarta and Beijing over the existence of Chinese fishing boats swarming in South China Sea waters near Indonesia’s Natuna Islands.

In 2002, the 10- country ASEAN bloc and China concurred on a Statement of Conduct, which was a declaration of concepts on how celebrations need to act in the South ChinaSea Finishing a more detailed– and binding– Code of Conduct (CoC) has actually shown much harder to develop.

Settlements started in earnest in 2016 with a tentative due date for approval in2021 A draft of the text of the contract has actually been launched.

Jose Taveras, the Indonesian foreign ministry official who leads its office on ASEAN cooperation, stated talks on the standard procedure had actually been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Negotiations are very difficult and cannot be done virtually because they are very technical,” he informed press reporters Wednesday.

Talks in Indonesia and China arranged for August and October, respectively, were most likely to be delayed, he stated.

“It should have been completed in 2021 but at this stage it is difficult to set a new target. It all depends on the COVID-19 situation,” he stated.

Reported by BenarNews, an RFA-afiliated news service.

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