Minister Retno: UNCLOS 1982 must be enforced in the South China Sea
Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Retno Marsudi conveyed the issue of disputes in the South China Sea at the ASEAN Regional Forum on Saturday (12/9). She emphasized the importance of upholding the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982. In a virtual press statement, she said that Indonesia would like to see the South China Sea peaceful and stable in which the international principles approved internationally are upheld, including UNCLOS 1982. This was conveyed in a joint communication which was released on the first day of the 53rd ASEAN foreign ministerial meeting. The UNCLOS 1982 is the international legal framework for all water and marine activities. Codes of conduct in the Sea South China must be implemented consistently based on international laws, including the UNCLOS 1982.
Minister Retno further affirmed that the UNCLOS 1982 is the only basis for determining maritime entitlement, sovereignty and sovereign rights, jurisdiction and legitimate interest in waters and sea. One of the points regulated in the UNCLOS 1982 is the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) which stretches as far as 200 nautical miles from the shoreline. Related to disputes in the South China Sea, China is considered to have violated the UNCLOS 1982 by claiming the EEZ of several ASEAN countries as part of its territory. China has claimed about 90 percent or 1.3 million miles of South China Sea territory as its territory. The claim is based on dash-lines or a "U" demarcation line published in 1947. The claim has been protested by a number of ASEAN countries, such as Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Malaysia. The United States also rejects China's claim because it deems the South China Sea as an international territorial waters.