Foreign Affairs 'No Comment' on China's Protest Towards Offshore Drilling

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Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, JakartaThe Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Teuku Faizasyah on Thursday said he cannot comment on the protest from the Chinese government reportedly related to Indonesia’s offshore drilling activities in the North Natuna Sea, which China claims is within their territory. It urges Indonesia to stop activities in the region.

    The spokesperson said he is not in the position to comment on the news report. “I don’t have sufficient information regarding the news piece,” he told Tempo on December 2. 

    Teuku Faizasyah stated that communication between states is private in nature and its content cannot be shared. Regarding the drilling, he said that it has actually been completed, which is automatically a manifestation of Indonesia's sovereignty in the region. Especially, the drilling was carried out within the Indonesian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

    Reuters issued a report stating that the Chinese government told Indonesia to stop drilling for oil and natural gas in the North Natuna Sea, which China claims as part of the Nine Dash Line area in the South China Sea earlier this year. 

    China's demand is unprecedented and the Indonesian government seems deliberately not to publish it to the media because it sees China as Indonesia's biggest trading partner.

    Citing Reuters, Indonesian House of Representatives' (DPR) Commission I legislator commented on the situation; "Our reply was very firm, that we are not going to stop the drilling because it is our sovereign right," Farhan said. 

    Read: Situation in North Natuna Sea Safe and Under Control: Bakamla Chief

    REUTERS | DIKO OKTARA