Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia and Malaysia have shared their joint concerns on the rising tension and potential arms race between great powers in the Indo-Pacific.

"We do not want the current dynamic to lead to arms race and power projection. This situation will not be beneficial to anyone," said Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi in a press briefing following a bilateral meeting with her Malaysian counterpart, Saifuddin Abdullah, in Jakarta on Monday.

Without mentioning any particular country or group, Marsudi said that Indonesia and Malaysia have agreed to heighten efforts to maintain peace and stability in the region, including by continuing to strengthen ASEAN unity and centrality.

"At the same time, (we) ask for all ASEAN partners to contribute to stability, security, peace, and welfare of the region, while continuing to honor international law," she added.

Related news: Indonesia Calls For Reduction in Nuclear Arms Race

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Foreign Minister mentioned Australia's plan to build nuclear-powered submarines in cooperation with the United States and Great Britain.

The security cooperation, often referred to as AUKUS, is said to have been formed to rival China's widening influence in the region by a number of parties, especially regarding the South China Sea dispute that involves a number of countries.

"Even though the country said that the submarines are merely nuclear-powered and not armed with nuclear (weapons), we still reiterate our concern and exasperation as this can lead to the involvement of other powers in ASEAN and in the South China Sea," said Saifuddin, without specifically mentioning Australia.

Both Indonesia and Malaysia maintain economic interests in the South China Sea and both countries have agreed to exchange views to strengthen cooperation in order to resolve the issue they jointly face, he added.

Related news: IAEA meet: Indonesia calls for peaceful use of nuclear energy
Related news: Indonesia, US extend cooperation on nuclear safety

Translator: Yashinta DP, Aria Cindyara
Editor: Suharto
Copyright © ANTARA 2021