Skip to main content

Indonesia, Vietnam mend ties after talks to settle South China Sea disputes

http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/indonesia-vietnam-settle-recurring-maritime-standoffs-in-south-china-sea

Indonesia's President Joko Widodo (right) and the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong brief journalists after their meeting at the presidential palace in Jakarta on Aug 23, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

PUBLISHED

2 HOURS AGO

JAKARTA (THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Amid two recent maritime stand-offs in the waters around the Natuna Islands in South China Sea, Indonesia and Vietnam mended ties after President Joko Widodo and Communist Party of Vietnam secretary-general Nguyen Phu Trong held talks in Jakarta on Wednesday (Aug 23).

The meeting produced key deals in a number of fields, ranging from education, energy, village development, law and maritime and fisheries.

The speedy completion of the limits of exclusive economic zones (EEZ) between the two countries to prevent future maritime stand-offs and stability in the South China Sea was a focal point of the high-profile discussions.

In a joint press statement at Merdeka Palace after the meeting, Mr Joko said Vietnam had also agreed to work with Indonesia to curb rampant illegal fishing to achieve a sustainable fishery.

Get The Straits Times
newsletters in your inbox

SIGN UP

Mr Joko said: "In the maritime and fishery sector, Indonesia and Vietnam agreed to speed up negotiations on the limits of the EEZs between the two countries. Vietnam also supports Indonesia's cause to achieve a sustainable fishery by jointly curbing illegal fishing."

As for the situation in the South China Sea, Mr Joko said the two leaders agreed to make Asean the engine of peace and stability in the region.

Unlike Vietnam, Indonesia is not a claimant in the disputed waters of the South China Sea. However, Indonesia has been involved in several maritime stand-offs in the waters off the Natuna Islands with Vietnam because the two countries have overlapping claims in the area.

Data from the Marine Affairs and Fisheries Ministry shows that out of a total of 75 vessels arrested for illegal fishing this year, 63 were from Vietnam.

In a move to ease the tensions, Mr Joko appointed the Maritime Security Board (Bakamla) - Indonesia's coast guard - to sign the maritime sector agreement.

Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said: "The letter of intent about the coast guard is expected to build trust between the two counterparts. Better communication is important so that any incidents in the future could be handled swiftly by them."

Ms Retno said Indonesia and Vietnam had overlapping claims over their respective EEZs near Natuna waters.

She said: "It is important to solve this issue in order to avoid incidents in their EEZs with regard to vessels. If the limits are agreed then it will be easier to implement law."

She added that the House of Representatives would ratify the EEZ borders in the form of law after the two countries reached final agreements.

Ms Retno said when the ratification by Indonesia and Vietnam was done, it would be sent to the United Nations as a reference document to solve any future problems in the EEZ.

After meeting Mr Joko, Mr Trong gave a keynote speech and fielded questions at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Jakarta. He emphasised that consultation and consensus would remain an important and distinctive feature of Asean's decision-making process.

Said Mr Trong: "We need to continue the consultations to achieve a consensus. Without a consensus, it is impossible to have solidarity and unity within Asean."

Although Asean has had some difficulty achieving a consensus on a spate of issues, Mr Trong said consensus-building was an important part of achieving solidarity.

Mr Trong touched on the "spectacular flexibility" of the consultation and consensus principles, and singled them out as the way of the future for Asean.

He said: "For countries outside South-east Asia, especially major powers, we want to share in the understanding that Asean centrality is in line with common interests

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Balochistan to establish first medical university

https://www.dawn.com/news/1366135

The Newspaper's Staff CorrespondentOctober 25, 2017QUETTA: The provincial cabinet on Tuesday approved the draft for establishing a medical university in Balochistan.Health minister Mir Rehmat Saleh Baloch made the announcement while speaking at a press conference after a cabinet meeting.“The cabinet has approved the draft of the medical university which would be presented in the current session of the Balochistan Assembly,” he said, adding with the assembly’s approval the Bolan Medical College would be converted into a medical university.Published in Dawn, October 25th, 2017

5 Shia Hazara community members gunned down in Pakistan

http://m.hindustantimes.com/world-news/5-shia-hazara-community-members-gunned-down-in-pakistan/story-CHWR4lYByRHzf2KjHjMloI.html



Five members of the minority Shia Hazara community, including two women, were killed on Sunday in an attack by unidentified gunmen in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province.This is not the first time that members of the Hazara community have been targeted in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan.(Reuters File Photo)Updated: Sep 11, 2017 00:20 ISTBy Press Trust of India, Press Trust of India, KarachiFive members of the minority Shia Hazara community, including two women, were killed on Sunday in an attack by unidentified gunmen in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province.The gunmen targeted a car in Kuchluck area of Quetta while it was coming from the Chaman border crossing area, police said.The firing took place when the travellers had stopped at a filling station to refuel their vehicle. Five people of the Shia Hazara community, including two women, died in …

China’s 'Digital Silk Road': Pitfalls Among High Hopes

https://thediplomat.com/2017/11/chinas-digital-silk-road-pitfalls-among-high-hopes/


Will information and communication technologies help China realize its Digital Silk Road?By Wenyuan WuNovember 03, 2017In his speech at the opening ceremony of China’s 19th Party Congress, President Xi Jinping depicted China as a model of scientific and harmonious development for developing nations. Xi’s China wants to engage the world through commerce but also through environmental protection and technological advancement. This includes Beijing’s efforts to fight climate change with information and communication technologies (ICTs) that it plans to export along its “One Belt One Road” initiative (OBOR). Xi may have ambitious plans, but could China be throwing up obstacles in its own way?In his speech, the Chinese president emphasized the need to modernize the country’s environmental protections. The Chinese state is taking an “ecological civilization” approach to development and diplomacy, with a natio…