Jokowi, Yassin lay emphasis on stability in South China Sea

Jokowi, Yassin lay emphasis on stability in South China Sea

Indonesian President Jokowi and Malaysian PM Muhyiddin Yassin take a group photo at the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta, Friday (5-2-2021). ANTARA / HO-Press Bureau Presidential Secretariat / Laily Rachev

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyuddin Yassin expressed hope for stability to be maintained in the South China Sea.

"We also exchange ideas on regional stability and security. I emphasize that stability will be created, including in the South China Sea, if all countries respect international law, especially the UNCLOS 1982," President Jokowi stated at the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta, on Friday.

President Jokowi conveyed the remark at a joint press statement with Malaysian PM Muhyiddin Yassin during his state visit to Indonesia.

"With regard to the situation in the South China Sea, Malaysia has a view that the issue of maritime claims in these waters, and the solution must be based on internationally recognized legal principles, including the 1982 UNCLOS," PM Yassin noted.

On January 23, 2021, several US aircraft carriers, including USS Theodore Roosevelt, had reportedly entered the South China Sea to conduct military exercises.

Responding to the drills, spokesman of China's Foreign Ministry called the US routine exercises a "show of strength and not conducive to regional peace and stability".

"All parties need to refrain from actions that cause tension and provocation and avoid using military force," PM Yassin emphasized.

Yassin echoed Malaysia’s commitment to resolving issues related to the South China Sea through forums and diplomacy channels.

The South China Sea is a strategic area directly adjacent to the waters of Brunei, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, and China. However, these waters are prone to open conflict since China makes unilateral claims over large parts of the area.

China's unilateral claim to the South China Sea intersects with the territorial waters of several countries: Brunei, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam.

In fact, the South China Sea is one of the main routes of international trade in the Indo-Pacific region. In addition, the South China Sea has abundant marine resources and reserves of crude oil and natural gas.

Despite having no territorial claims, the US often opposes and condemns any unilateral Chinese expansion in the South China Sea and has expressed its intent that these waters serve as international waters, free for anyone to pass.

The US also frequently sends its fleets of warships and warplanes across the South China Sea. Related news: Indonesia, US committed to respecting law in South China Sea
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