Indonesia warns of further South China Sea tension

Indonesia warned Wednesday of a "risk of further tensions" between nations with overlapping claims to swathes of the South China Sea if a "collective and common approach" is not soon agreed.

Members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) were split in their views on the maritime dispute during the Phnom Penh meeting of foreign ministers in July, and the bloc for the first time in its 45-year history failed to deliver a joint communique.

"This is an issue that demands ASEAN's and China's collective and common approach and action, otherwise the risk of further tensions are very much ahead of us," Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa told reporters on the sidelines of ASEAN's 45th anniversary celebrations.

"In the absence of a code of conduct, we may be risking more incidents in the future."

Natalegawa toured the region after the ASEAN summit to push for progress on the long-stalled code of conduct, designed to reduce tensions over fishing, shipping rights and oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will visit Indonesia, Brunei and Malaysia from Thursday, and Natalegawa said he hoped to "compare notes on where we are on the South China Sea" with him.

China claims sovereignty over almost all of the resource-rich sea, which is home to vital shipping lanes, but the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei have overlapping claims.

Vietnam is scheduled next year to appoint a secretary general to head ASEAN after the five-year tenure of Thailand's Surin Pitsuwan comes to an end.

Vietnam frequently trades diplomatic barbs with China over oil exploration, fishing rights and the Spratly and Paracel Islands, which both countries claim as their own.

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Book chronicles efforts for PWD-friendly polls VERA Files - The Inbox
    Book chronicles efforts for PWD-friendly polls

    By Melissa Luz Lopez, VERA Files A lot have been done but much still need to be done for a hassle-free  participation of  Persons with Disabilities in elections,according to a book published by The Asia Foundation (TAF) and supported by … Continue reading → …

  • The other side of Palawan Ellen Tordesillas, Contributor - The Inbox
    The other side of Palawan

    By Ellen T. Tordesillas Mention Palawan and what comes to mind are Underground River and El Nido in the northern side of this richly-blessed province from its capital, Puerto Princesa. Three weeks ago, we went to the southern side- in … Continue reading → …

  • What can void a new car warranty? James Deakin - Wheel Power
    What can void a new car warranty?

    "I was denied warranty once for changing my horn!" One very annoyed reader wrote. "I was told that placing a backup camera will void my warranty" said another. The others are best left in my private inbox as Yahoo! have a swear jar in the office that I do not feel like donating this week's pay to. Continue reading → …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options