Indonesia asked to stabilize conflict in South China Sea

... Indonesia is even being asked to serve as a mediator and stabilizer... "
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia has been asked to serve as a mediator and to take actions to stabilize the conflict in the South China Sea, Navy Deputy Chief Vice Admiral Marsetio said.

"To help redress conflicts in the South China Sea, we have established cooperation with China and Vietnam in conducting coordinated patrols. Indonesia also has the same cooperation with Malaysia, the Philippines and all members of ASEAN. Indonesia is even being asked to serve as a mediator and stabilizer," Vice Admiral Marsetio said.

Marsetio made the statement during an international seminar on "Cooperative Maritime Strategy to Enhance Security Stability in the South China Sea," here on Wednesday.

He further said that the Indonesian Navy has deployed its marine forces by sending its Western Fleet to help maintain security in the region.

The step is taken in an effort to prevent the conflicts from spreading to the Natuna waters, he said.

"But there has been no escalation of strength. It remains normal," he said.

Marsetio predicted that the conflict in the South China Sea had the potential to heat up. Thus, the focus of fleet deployment in the Malacca Strait has been shifted to the South China Sea.

The essence of the conflict in the South China Sea, which involves ten claimant countries, is based upon countries seeking to extend their influence, he said.

"It is particularly so with the United States, on the one hand, and China, on the other," the Navy deputy chief said.

He added that all countries involved have agreed to keep the region as an area of cooperation. Therefore, all countries are seeking alternative solutions to South China Sea issues.

(A014/INE/S012/KR-BSR)

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