Indonesia Gathers Coalition of 5 ASEAN Countries to Respond to China’s Arrogance in the South China Sea

Head of Bakamla RI Vice Admiral TNI Aan Kurnia. The Indonesian Maritime Security Agency (Bakamla) called for a coalition of Southeast Asian countries to address the threats in the South China Sea. (Source: Kompas TV)

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.TV The Indonesian Maritime Security Agency (Bakamla) called for a coalition of Southeast Asian countries to address the threats in the South China Sea.

Head of Bakamla Vice Admiral Aan Kurnia said he had invited his colleagues from Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam to meet in February 2022. The meeting would discuss possible joint responses to China’s arrogance regarding the South China Sea dispute.

Quoted from BenarNews, Tuesday (12/28/2021), Aan Kurnia stated, the meeting was held to ‘share experiences and foster brotherhood’ among the participating countries.

Also Read: Bakamla: Safeguarding Natuna Waters Near the South China Sea remains a priority in 2022

Four of the five countries, with the exception of Singapore, are known to have maritime and territorial disputes with China. The growth of the naval and maritime power of the four countries is reported to be experiencing difficulties in the South China Sea.

Meanwhile, Singapore has no direct territorial interests in the South China Sea. However, Singapore also has an equally strong interest in preserving free and open international sea lanes.

According to Aan, launching The Diplomat On Wednesday (29/12), it was important for Southeast Asian stakeholders in the South China Sea to ‘present a coordinated approach’ to issues in the territorial waters claimed by China.

However, Aan did not mention China explicitly. This is seen by governments in Southeast Asia as a good habit driven by fears it will disrupt economic ties with Beijing.

“(It is also important to discuss) how to respond in the field when we face the same ‘nuisance’,” added Aan.

Also Read: Suspecting the Movements of Greek-flagged tankers, Indonesian Bakamla immediately expelled them from Indonesian waters

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