Indonesia is defending its South China Sea territory against ‘foreign’ threats. The country has long maintained an exclusive economic zone in waters insisted by China, but unlike its neighboring country, it’s never been a part of the conflict.
China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, and Taiwan all declare sovereign rights over some areas of the South China Sea, which is known rich in resources. Passed actions showed Indonesia’s increased commitment to safeguarding its boundary as Beijing expands its footprint in the area.
On Friday, President Joko Widodo’s management renamed the northern side of its exclusive economic zone, home to significant oil and gas reserve, as the North Natuna Sea. Indonesia’s military also signed a memorandum of knowing with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources to give land and maritime security for resource exploration activities.
Proving the action, General Gatot Nurmantyo told offshore drilling activities were often interrupted by “foreign-flagged vessels,” The Jakarta Post quoted him as saying.
Ian Storey, a senior fellow at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute. Proclaimed that it’s all about protecting Indonesia’s sovereign rights in the vicinity of the Natunas from invasions by China.
“As China’s navy becomes powerful, and its large fishing lines go further south in search of lucrative fish stocks, Jakarta’s affairs have developed, as well as its determination to safeguard its maritime resources.”