Indonesia Rejects the US Assistance to Overcome Natuna’s Problems

President Jokowi and Minister at Natuna Waters (photo: special)

Jakarta, MINA – Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Mahfud MD said that at this time Indonesia did not need assistance from any country to overcome the problems in Natuna Waters.

He even claimed to have refused assistance from the United States (US) who intend to help Indonesia deal with the polemic with China in the South China Sea region.

The statement was delivered by Mahfud when meeting with the US Ambassador to Indonesia, Joseph Donovan Jr.

“I said that I do not need to cooperate with America about the matter,” Mahfud said at the PB Nahdlatul Ulama office, Jakarta on Saturday, thus quoted from Kompas.

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According to Mahfud MD, if Indonesia receives assistance from the US, there could be a conflict with China.

Mahfud stressed Indonesia’s firm stance that it never recognized the Nine-Dash Line in the South China Sea as China claims.

He said Indonesia adhered to the 1982 United Nations Convention on The Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) which stated that the waters were part of Indonesia’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

“If we cooperate with America, it means we are at war with China. Even though we are not (in dispute). We will just repel,” Mahfud said.

“So that, we are not trapped in a proxy war. We don’t want to, there are no negotiations with China. We don’t need (US) help,” he said.

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Previously, the Chinese Ambassador to Indonesia, Xiao Qian, said there was no dispute between China and Indonesia over territorial matters.

The problem that has recently arisen related to Natuna waters, he said, is basically related to overlapping water areas.

It was conveyed by Xiao Qian after meeting with members of the Indonesian House Representatives Commission I, Syarief Hasan, at the Parliament Complex, Senayan, Jakarta on Friday.

“First, there is no dispute between Indonesia and China over our territory,” Xiao Qian said.

“The real dispute is because there are overlapping water areas. And this is different from territorial disputes,” he said.

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Xiao Qian said China fully acknowledged that Natuna was owned by Indonesia. China also never questioned it. Likewise, China has its own territory which has never been questioned by Indonesia.

Although there are differences in views between China and Indonesia on this matter, Xiao Qian said it would not be a problem.

“And from different views on this issue, we will discuss this issue in our country through diplomatic dialogue, as we did before.Talks between ambassadors, ministers, we will talk about it,” he said. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)