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New Chinese passports 'counterproductive': Indonesia

Published on Nov 29, 2012 12:40 PM
Indonesian Foreign Minister R.M. Marty Natalegawa, delivers remarks and responds to a few questions from the media with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the Treaty Room of the US State Department on Sept 20, 2012, in Washington, DC. -- PHOTO: AFP

JAKARTA (AFP) - Indonesia's foreign minister said in an interview published on Thursday that new Chinese passports featuring a map laying claim to disputed islands were "counterproductive".

Although it is not a claimant itself, Indonesia has mediated in the dispute between China and several members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), using its position as the bloc's biggest economy as leverage.

It is also a major supplier of commodities to China, which is increasingly exploring mines and constructing smelters in Indonesia to fuel its economy.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, who has hopped between claimant nations this year over the issue, warned that the passports would worsen the already tense dispute and said Jakarta would convey its position to Beijing.

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