Indonesia must reject Chinese maritime silk road offer: Sultan

Indonesia must reject Chinese maritime silk road offer: Sultan

Sultan Hamengkubuwono X (FOTO ANTARA/ Feny Selly)

Surabaya, East Java (ANTARA News) - Sultan Hamengkubuwono X has appealed to President Joko Widodo to reject the Chinese governments offer to link Indonesias maritime axis with its maritime silk road.

"The Chinese maritime silk road is a logistical route from China to other countries and so if the offer is accepted Indonesia will become consumers of Chinese products forever," he said in a seminar here on Monday.

Speaking at an Indonesian Navy National Seminar 2015 carrying the theme of "Challenges and Opportunities in the Development of Five World Maritime Axis Pillars" held to mark the Navy Education Day the governor of Yogyakarta said that the Indonesian Archipelago Sea Lanes (ALKI) had so far always been the target of China, Australia and Singapore.

"If we close the ALKI to strengthen domestic logistic routes to support the World Maritime Axis program the three countries trade with the Asia Pacific region would be blocked and therefore they are offering cooperation," he said.

Sultan who spoke on a maritime culture session said the Chinese offer for cooperation in the Maritime Silk Road framework could make the Indonesian nation become consumers of their products.

"Also watch Australia who wants Papua to be independent. It is actually not for the interest of Papua but Australia only wants to open its economic routes," he said.

In view of that Sultan underlined the importance of education and leadership as well as diplomacy which is focused on sea and maritime. "The sea is related with sea resources while maritime is connected with defense and so the two must be combined," he said.

The seminar which was officially opened by Navy Chief of Starr Admiral Ade Supandi also presented other speakers including former navy chief of staff retired admiral Marsetio, former minister Sarwono Kusumaatmadja, Ir. Harun Al Rasyid Lubis M.Sc. and Dr. Arif Hava Oegroseno.

"Yes, China has conducted an aggression like in the South China Sea but we must not confront it physically. We must focus on diplomacy. The worlds decision to recognize Indonesia as an archipelago country is not gained through physical fight and blood but diplomacy. Show that Indonesia is a peace-loving country," Sarwono said.

Sarwono, who was a former environment minister, asked the government to focus on marine tourism because the top program could improve commitment to sea, fishery, maritime human resources and others.

Admiral Ade Supandi in his opening speech emphasized the importance of improving the quality of human resources in the maritime sector as their number was still one percent of the total population.

"According to a census in 2010 total Indonesian population reached 230 million and the maritime human resource numbers only 2.3 million or one percent including the navy members totaling 70,000," he said before around 300 participants including university rectors, academicians, university students and civilian as well as military and police officials. 

reporting by edy m yakub