Indonesia to double Riau police deployment to 12,000 in anticipation of South China Sea tension

General Tito Karnavian said police deployment on Riau Islands would be increased to around 12,000 from the current 5,000.
General Tito Karnavian said police deployment on Riau Islands would be increased to around 12,000 from the current 5,000. PHOTO: REUTERS

BATAM (JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Police personnel numbers on Riau Islands will be doubled to 12,000 in anticipation of conflict in the South China Sea after US President-elect Donald Trump takes office, Indonesia's police chief said on Friday (Jan 20).

General Tito Karnavian said police deployment on Riau Islands, the province located closest to the South China Sea, would be increased to around 12,000 from the current 5,000.

"Although Indonesia is not a claimant party in the disputed waters we should always be on alert, and even more so as we will see a succession of leadership in the US from President Barack Obama to Donald Trump [ON FRIDAY]," he said.

Tito reminded that the change of US leadership would affect their policy toward the South China Sea-a potential flash point between "superpower" countries like the US and China.

Following the level upgrade, Riau Islands Police would now have a two-star general as its chief and 12,000 personnel according the police's standards.

The province now has seven police precincts and one police sub-precinct with Natuna and Anambas police precincts adjacent to the South China Sea.

The National Police also upgraded the Lampung Police and the Riau Police in December last year.

As a result, the two provinces would also be strengthened with increased police personnel, improved infrastructure and be led by higher echelon officials.