Arbitration Court Strengthens Indonesia in South China Sea

Friday, 15 July 2016 , 14:00:00 WIB - International

The Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affair´s Deputy of Maritime Sovereignty Coordination Havas Oegroseno (center) is seen giving explanations in a discussion about the Permanent Court of Arbitration�s ruling regarding China�s Nine-Dash Line. (ANTARA)

JAKARTA, GRES.NEWS – In Den Haag, the Netherlands, on Tuesday (12/7), The Permanent Court of Arbitration has ruled for the Philippines to reject China’s Nine-Dash Line, which China claims complies with its historic rights. The court said the claim violates the economic zone regulations based on the UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA (UNCLOS) in 1982.

Although Indonesia did not take part in the arbitration, the ruling may have a significant effect on Indonesia.

Tensions between Indonesia and China recently rose after the latter refused to acknowledge Indonesia’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) on the Natura waters. China claims that the area is part of its Traditional Fishing Ground, based on its Nine-Dash Line.

A professor of international law from the University of Indonesia Hikmahanto Juwana said Indonesia must be grateful with the ruling. Although the country is not involved in the conflict directly, the ruling will have a significant effect on Indonesia.

"Indonesia can be more confident in taking actions against Chinese vessels that violate our EEZ," Hikmahanto said to gres.news, Thursday (14/7).

Furthermore, the government should no longer doubt to facilitate our fishermen to catch fish in China’s so-called Traditional Ground Fishing.
Hikmahanto criticizes the statement from China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs that Indonesia and China have overlapping maritime rights and interests as it does not have any grounds.

"The government must respond to the ruling quickly through three steps," he said.

First, asked all nations to honor the ruling. Second, urge the Chinese government to refrain itself from increasing the presence of its military in the South China Sea and, third, urge countries who have an interest or involved in the conflict to hold dialogues with China in regards to the arbitration ruling.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls for all nations to refrain themselves to maintain the stability of the nation. Everyone should refrain themselves and not conduct any action that can escalate the tension, said Retno Marsudi, the Minister of Foreign Affairs (dtc)

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