Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Is Indonesia And China Heading for A Territorial Clash In The South China Sea?

Source: Foreign Policy Research Institute

Asia Times: Indonesia arming up in the South China Sea

While Indonesia does not recognize any boundary dispute with China, President Joko Widodo is flexing strong sovereign claim to the gas-rich Natuna Islands.

Amid rising tensions in the South China Sea, President Joko Widodo has followed through on a two-year-old pledge to strengthen Indonesia’s military presence on Natuna Besar, the largest of several hundred small islands on the southern fringe of the waterway.

Indonesian officials familiar with the plan say the 1,720 kilometer island — the closest large land mass to an increasingly assertive China — will soon be equipped with a surface-to-air missile system, elements of a marine battalion and upgraded air and naval base facilities. The military base was opened in mid-December.

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WNU Editor: Chinese - Indonesian tensions over the South China Sea have been growing for a long time .... Growing Tensions Between China and Indonesia Over The South China Sea (June 20, 2016).

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