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Committee: Regional Council

Topic: South China Sea


Country: Indonesia

Indonesia was one of the five ASEAN initiating nations in 1967. Indonesia is a country that consists of many islands
bounded by the waters. Indonesia is bordered directly by Singapore, South China Sea, Malaysia, Malacca Strait &
Pacific Ocean on the north side, the Indian Ocean on south and west side, Papua New Guinea on the east side.
Indonesia called ASEAN initiator is inseparable from the various conflicts either domestically or in South East Asia.

A conflict that ever happened in Indonesia is a conflict with Malaysia dispute of Sipadan and Ligitan Island. It begans
when a technical maritime law meeting between the two countries, each country turns to enter the island of Sipadan
and Ligitan islands into its borders. For thirty years both countries have been waiting for an opportunity to gain
control of the island. Both countries agreed to resolve this conflict so as not to become a burden for both countries.
After conducting four meetings Jakarta-Kuala Lumpur alternately, the two representatives of the Government of
Indonesia and the Malaysian government managed to find a solution, which recommends that there is need for the
settlement of this case. Subsequently, on May 31, 1997, the two countries agreed to the Special Court for the dispute
between Indonesia and Malaysia concerning the sovereignty over Pulau Sipadan and Pulau Ligitanv (Djalal, 2013).

At this time the conflict that occurred in South East Asia is the South China Sea conflict. The dispute over the
territorial zone claims in the South China Sea has yet to be resolved. The tangle of claims of sovereignty and territorial
jurisdiction in the South China Sea region involves six countries: China, Taiwan, Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia
and Brunei Darussalam (Poling, 2013). The huge potential that exists in the South China Sea such as the abundance
of marine biota, natural oil and natural gas makes the countries around the South China Sea fighting over the
ownership of the South China Sea. Indonesia, which is not directly involved in the conflict, realizes that the instability
in the region has the potential to be a shock for ASEAN internal integrity. Therefore, the initiation of Indonesia to
take active and reactive actions towards the conflict is certainly supported by the assumption that Indonesia is a
neutral party. What Indonesia can do is through preventive diplomacy. Preventive diplomacy in resolving the
conflict had an impact on the awareness of countries not to make things worse. As an active party in seeking political
consolidation gaps and calling for the importance of the South China Sea are not only considered to be significant
for the countries located in the region surrounding it helped the case for the international community perceived.

Another problem arose, Indonesia initially did not participate in claiming territory in these waters, but began to be
“disturbed” by the unilateral claim of China issuing the map “U” or known as the Nine Dash Line. They enter the
waters of Natuna into the claim map and its impacts on the Exclusive Economic Zone of Indonesia itself. With the
disruption of the north of the Natuna Islands in the South China Sea dispute will have an impact on the security and
economic stability, since Indonesia has an exploration of oil and gas mining in the area of the Exclusive Economic
Zone. Seeing the problem, Indonesia must improve Indonesia Military Capability through MEF (Minimum Essential
Force) and security in Natuna. Indonesia should empower the national defence industry, preventing public security
disturbances, modernizing the early detection of national security and improving the quality of national security
policies. Indonesia should also improve security in border areas, especially in Natuna by increasing the number of
troops and fleets as well.

Another strategy that Indonesia must take in this South China Sea conflict is to continue diplomatic negotiations to
ensure clarity of Indonesia's border with neighbouring countries. The issue of state borders is important because the
borders of a country are a major manifestation of a sovereignty, including the determination of sovereign boundaries,
and the security and territorial integrity of which it is essential for Indonesia to improve border management between
Indonesia and the other countries.

For Indonesia, the South China Sea area is a strategic land, if the stability of the area is disturbed it will affect the
security and disruption of the interests of Indonesia as a State directly adjacent to the South China Sea. Therefore
Indonesia must demonstrate concrete steps in the form of strategies and policies that defend the interests of Indonesia
in the South China Sea, as well as maintain security stability.
Reference
Djalal , Hasjim . “Dispute Between Indonesia And Malaysia On The Sovereignty Over Sipadan And Ligitan

Islands.” OPINIO JURIS, vol. 12, Apr. 2013, p. 8., pustakahpi.kemlu.go.id.

Poling, Gregory B. The South China Sea in focus: clarifying the limits of maritime dispute. Center for Strategic &

International Studies, 2013, csis-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs-

public/legacy_files/files/publication/130717_Poling_SouthChinaSea_Web.pdf.