Government should express its appreciation over South China Sea ruling

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - An international law professor has urged the Indonesian government to welcome the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the matter of conflict in the South China Sea.

"Indonesia must appreciate the ruling of the PCA in the case initiated by the Philippine government against the Chinese government as it has termed Chinas claim over the nine dash lines illegitimate," Professor Hikmahanto Juwono, the law professor from Indonesia University, said here on Tuesday.

He added that the government must immediately issue a statement appealing to all countries to honor the arbitration courts ruling.

"Secondly, China must exercise restrain now by not increasing its military presence in the South China Sea," he cautioned.

Finally, countries that have so far held a dialogue with China must not feel as having been cornered because of the courts decision, he emphasized.

Professor Hikmahanto reminded that the Indonesian government had questioned the nine dash line claim made by China and it would be strange if no statement is issued, considering that the Philippines governments efforts to take the case to the arbitration court were also in relation to the legitimacy of the nine dash lines based on the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

He urged the Indonesian government to take an initiative to push for a statement by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in response to the arbitration courts ruling.(*)