Prabowo Responds Calmly to China's Trespassing in Natuna

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Mahinda Arkyasa

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  • Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto prepares to meet with lawmakers of the House's Commission I at the Parliament Complex in Senayan, Jakarta, Monday, November 11, 2019. ANTARA

    Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto prepares to meet with lawmakers of the House's Commission I at the Parliament Complex in Senayan, Jakarta, Monday, November 11, 2019. ANTARA

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto responded calmly to China's claim over Natuna waters that recently increased the tension between Indonesia and China.

    "We are cool. We are calm about it," said the minister at the Maritime and Investment Ministry Office, Jakarta on Friday, January 3, 2020.

    According to the former commander of the Army's Special Forces (Kopassus), each country has its own way of handling such cases. However, the two countries need to seek a good solution. "We will end it well. After all, China is a partner country," Prabowo said.

    Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment, Luhut Pandjaitan, resonated Prabowo's statement. Luhut said that he did not want the problem with China to grow bigger.

    "[The problem] is actually simple, no need to be overly concerned about it," Luhut said. "What is the goal to make a fuss of something that should not be fussed about."

    Luhut also stated that Indonesia so far recognized the region of the 200-nautical-mile north of Natuna as its exclusive economic zone (EEZ). He added that Indonesia had never recognized any territorial claims from China.

    The Maritime Security Agency (Bakamla) previously explained there were violations in Indonesia's EEZ in the northern waters of Natuna in December 2019 as the Chinese government's coastguard vessels sailed within the EEZ border.

    The Indonesian government had summoned the Chinese Ambassador in Jakarta and lodged a strong protest against the Chinese government over the violation. Indonesia had also rejected China’s claim over North Natuna waters referring to China's Nine-Dash Line as it was contrasted to the international law of UNCLOS 1982.

    CAESAR AKBAR | FRANCISCA CHRISTY