Natuna Waters: Indonesia Opposes China's Nine-Dash Line
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Indonesia has firmly stated that it would never acknowledge the Nine-Dash Line established unilaterally by China along Natuna Waters, Riau Islands. Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi discussed the issue with several government officials in a meeting on Friday, January 3, 2020.
"As stated by the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs [Mahfud MD], we have just held a coordination meeting to unite and strengthen Indonesia's stance in responding to the situation in Natuna waters," said Retno at Mahfud MD's office in South Jakarta on Friday, January 3, 2020.
Retno informed that there were five conclusions resulted from the discussion. First, China's coastguard vessels had committed violations in Indonesia's exclusive economic zone. The zone had been acknowledged as Indonesia's territorial waters through the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), a convention in which China is one of the signatories.
"Therefore, China is obliged to honor the implementation of UNCLOS 1982," Retno underlined.
Minister Retno further added that Indonesia would never recognize the Nine-Dash Line claimed by China because it does not have a legal basis recognized by international law, including UNCLOS 1982.
In addition, Indonesia will be increasing the frequency of patrols in Natuna waters, "and fisheries activity as it is Indonesia's rights."
The meeting concerning Natuna issues was presided by Mahfud MD and attended by the police's Security Maintenance Agency (Baharkam) Chief Comr. Gen. Agus Andrianto, the Maritime Security Board (Bakamla) Head Vice Admiral A. Taufiq R, among other state officials.