Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi attending the virtual Asean Informal Action Ministerial Meeting in Jakarta, on Wednesday. (Photo courtesy of the Foreign Affairs Ministry)

Indonesia Encourages Asean, China to Resume South China Sea CoC Negotiation

BY :NUR YASMIN

JUNE 24, 2020

Jakarta. Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi has advised the countries involved in the South China Sea dispute to continue a Code of Conduct negotiation that was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Retno addressed her statement to Asean countries during a virtual Informal Asean Ministerial Meeting on Wednesday.

"Negotiation among claimant countries is key. Indonesia supports continuing the code of conduct negotiation that was halted due to the pandemic," Retno said.

The minister stressed Indonesia is not a claimant country, but called for peace in the region.

"It's important for Asean to keep sending out messages to great powers involved in the dispute to maintain regional peace and stability in the South China Sea," she said.

"Collaboration and cooperation should be paramount, not rivalry," she added.

Retno said all Asean member states should adhere to international law in the dispute and oppose the 9-dash-line policy proposed by China.

"Asean states should be solid in their resolve to respect international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS and the decisions made by the UN Permanent Court of Arbitration," she said.

The court decided that China had violated the Philippines' territorial sovereignty in the South China Sea.

The Asean-China South China Sea code of conduct negotiation had entered a first reading phase before Covid-19 struck.

The next negotiation meetings should have taken place in Brunei Darussalam, the Philippines, Indonesia and China.

China wants the CoC negotiation to be completed by 2021.

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