JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesia remains neutral in its response to the territorial disputes in the South China Sea involving China and the US, said Indonesia Institute for Defense and Strategic Studies (LESPERSSI) analyst Beni Sukadis.
Indonesia’s stance on the sea row has relations to the recent visit of Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto to the US last week.
“I believe Indonesia remains neutral by doing the same thing which is not taking sides while continuing to take a firm stance on those who violate Indonesia’s Exclusive Economic Zone,” Beni told Kompas.com on Tuesday, October 27.
Beni said Prabowo’s visit to the US was strongly related to the competition in the South China Sea. The US government tried to convince Indonesia to respect international maritime law in the South China Sea territory.
“Of course, Indonesia agrees that all countries must comply with international law and no one should dominate, let alone claim part of the South China Sea territory,” he said.
Indonesia, he added, would take actions when a country is proven to have violated other country's sovereignty.
“The message is clear. Anyone who violates the Indonesian sovereignty will have to deal with the Indonesian military. It means the primary weaponry defense system is very crucial at this time,” he said.
Previously, Prabowo visited the US on October 15-29 on the invitation of US Defense Minister Mark Esper. The two met at the Pentagon.