Why Indonesia has stake in fight to defend Unclos

Its national interests are dependent on the integrity of the current rules-based order even if it's not a claimant state in the South China Sea disputes with China

The recent diplomatic exchanges between the governments of Indonesia and China concerning Chinese fishing activities in the waters off the Natuna Islands in the South China Sea raise questions on the extent to which there are legal disputes between Indonesia and China with regard to sovereignty claims and maritime claims in the South China Sea.

The sovereignty disputes in the South China Sea arise from the fact that China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and possibly Brunei claim sovereignty over some or all of the Spratly Islands.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 17, 2020, with the headline 'Why Indonesia has stake in fight to defend Unclos'. Subscribe