DPR encourages government to form Asia-Pacific coalition to face China

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR) is encouraging the government to build a coalition with other Asia Pacific countries to stem Chinese domination in the South China Sea. "The ASEAN Forum is important. But I think it is time for us to build a coalition with other Asia Pacific nations including Japan, South Korea, India and Australia to curb China's arbitrariness," member of the House Commission I, Farah Putri Nahlia, said during a discussion themed, "Solution to Natuna Dispute", in Jakarta on Thursday.

The move is very important to send a signal to China to think twice when they try the same thing in the future, she said.

The politician of the National Mandate Party said both the Philippines and Vietnam had taken the same step by cooperating with the United States in anticipating the worst possibility of a territorial dispute with China.

"In fact, the Philippines has prepared its territory for the US military base as an anticipatory step," Nahlia said in a written statement.

In this context, she urged the Indonesian government not to be ambiguous in responding to the issue of the North Natuna Sea. The government must stand firm in that it does not merely issue a statement but must do more by taking concrete steps in the future.

"The issue of Natuna, I believe, will be repeated if the government's firm stand is merely limited to steps without further concrete action," she said.

The Natuna waters have again drawn the attention of national and international media outlets after Chinese coast guard vessels and fishing boats repeatedly violated the Indonesian exclusive economic zone (EEZ) rights.

The Chinese vessels were found escorting tens of Chinese fishing boats to poach in Indonesia's EEZ near the Natuna waters on December 19 and 24, 2019.

In March 2016, Indonesian Foreign Minister, Retno L.P. Marsudi, lodged a protest with the Chinese Charge d'affaires in Jakarta, Sun Weide, over Chinese coast guard violations in the Indonesian waters.

Source: Antara News

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