We are not at war with China – Indonesia

Mohammad Machfud
Mohammad Machfud

INDONESIA is not at war with China but will not tolerate border violations by any country, a minister said on Monday amid a diplomatic spat.

The coordinating minister for political, legal and security affairs, Mohammad Machfud, told newsmen, adding that the diplomatic spat is between Jakarta and Beijing over maritime rights in the southern reaches of the South China Sea.

Indonesia summoned the Chinese ambassador in Jakarta recently after it accused dozens of Chinese fishing and coastguard vessels of trespassing into its exclusive economic zone off the Natuna islands.

Jakarta also sent additional warships and personnel to patrol the waters in the southern tip of the disputed South China Sea. China said its fishermen’s activities the waters were “legal and legitimate.”

“A foreign country can’t enter our territory even an inch without the government’s approval. We are not at war; we are simply protecting our sovereignty. But there’s no negotiation because the area is ours and it is final under international law,” Machfud told newsmen.

China is Indonesia’s biggest trading partner and third-largest foreign investor. Indonesia has said China’s claims that the area is historically part of its fishing grounds have no legal basis under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Recently, Indonesia’s Maritime Security Agency said 63 Chinese fishing vessels and two Chinese coastguard boats had been spotted in Indonesian waters in December. (dpa/NAN)

– Jan. 6, 2020 @ 12:12 GMT |

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