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Diplomatic Corner

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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.

Read 44 times Last modified on Thursday, 17 September 2020 14:02