JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi has affirmed Indonesia’s sovereignty, following a US Department of Defense report that China plans to build logistics facilities in the country.
“I would like to firmly emphasize that under the guidelines and principles of Indonesian foreign policy, Indonesian territory cannot and will not be made as the base for any foreign countries,” Retno said in a teleconference in Jakarta on September 4.
She maintained her strong stance days after the Pentagon released its annual report on China’s military capabilities on September 1.
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Titled “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2020”, the report noted that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is flexing its military muscles in Asia and Africa.
“Beyond its current base in Djibouti, [China] is very likely already considering and planning for additional overseas military logistics facilities to support naval, air, and ground forces,” said the report’s website on www.media.defense.gov.
“[China] has likely considered locations for PLA military logistics facilities in Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, Kenya, Seychelles, Tanzania, Angola, and Tajikistan.”
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The report noted that China and Cambodia have denied “[the Chinese navy] with access to Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base.” The dossier raised the possibility that Beijing will extend its reach to Namibia in Africa, as well as Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific.
The document also voiced concerns that Beijing’s logistic network will “interfere with U.S. military operations and provide flexibility to support offensive operations against the United States.”
China is known for its standoffs with other Asian countries, such as Malaysia and the Philippines, in the South China Sea.
The country’s aggressive claims to the South China Sea put it at odds with Indonesia as it slightly overlaps the Natuna Islands, which is Indonesian territory.
(Write: Sania Mashabi | Editor: Diamanty Meiliana)