Minister Mahfud: There is No Conflict Between Indonesia-China

Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs (Menko Polhukam) Mahfud MD (source: screenshot)

Jakarta, MINA – Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs (Menko Polhukam) Mahfud MD said that the Governments of Indonesia and China had agreed that there were no more disputes over Natuna waters.

It was delivered after meeting with Chinese Ambassador Xiao Qian at the Office of the Coordinating Minister for Politics and Security, Jakarta on Thursday afternoon.

“He said, there is no conflict with Indonesia. China and Indonesia have no regional dispute, the ambassador said so,” Mahfud said, as quoted from Kompas on Friday.

He said that Indonesia had affirmed its stance on establishing that it would maintain territorial sovereignty and sovereign rights in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Even so, he said the Chinese Government also claimed that it could not prohibit its fishermen from going to sea.

“The Chinese side revealed it always happens at the end of the year, Chinese events come in. But we (China) also get pressure from their own people to still be allowed to sail there. Yes, we (Indonesia) say, we are still our sovereign rights, not our sovereignty but our sovereign rights, “Mahfud said.

Mahfud said Indonesia would continue to drive out if it found Chinese fishermen who were still fishing in EEZ. The patrol will be intensified according to President Joko Widodo’s instructions.

“We (with China) did not talk about guarantees (Chinese fishermen entering ZEE). Because they stated: we have difficulties, we must not prohibit Chinese from going to sea. Yes, we (Indonesia) said: yes we will expel. So there is no guarantee what already have their respective attitudes, ” Mahfud said again.

Even, he explained that Indonesia could not impose administrative sanctions on Chinese fishermen who catch fish. The reason is administrative sanctions can only be imposed on Indonesian citizens. What Mahfud said might be done, was the officers drove them away and imposed a crime.

Mahfud further reminded that the tip of the Natuna issue was with Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi. As Coordinating Minister for Politics and Security, Mahfud said that his duty was to support whatever policies the Foreign Minister had decided.

“What has been cooperated, what has been enforced, what has not been handed over has been submitted to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, I’m backing up here as the coordinating Minister. What our Foreign Minister has done is backing up completely at this Coordinating Ministry,” Mahfud said. (T/RE1/P2)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)