INDONESIA REJECTS CHINA’S CLAIMS OVER NATUNA WATERS

SHARIFAH ARFAH BINTI MESTADDIN

JAKARTA, Jan 2 (Bernama) -- Indonesia has dismissed China’s invitation to sit down for a dialogue to “manage disputes” over Indonesia’s exclusive economic zones (EEZ) in the North Natuna Sea, arguing that there are no overlapping claims there, reported VNA.

Following revelations of a wave of illicit activities by Chinese coastguard and fishing vessels in Natuna waters last week, Indonesia summoned Chinese Ambassador to the country Xiao Qian to lodge a formal protest.

 The Foreign Ministry said Indonesia would never recognize China's “Nine-dash Line” – the geographic expression of China's sweeping claim over the East Sea – because it was contrary to international law.

 Indonesia on Jan 1 responded by firmly rejecting the asserted historical claims. The ministry said they were "unilateral, have no legal basis and have never been recognised by the 1982 UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea),” Jakarta Post reported.

 According to the newspaper, the Indonesian Maritime Security Agency (Bakamla) recorded that between Dec 19-24, at least 63 Chinese fishing and coast guard vessels had entered Natuna waters.

--BERNAMA

 

 

TAGS: Indonesia, Natuna, China, sea, UNCLOS