Indonesia challenges China's claims on South China Sea claims
Indonesia's Foreign Minister on Thursday announced that its country demanded China to explain and prove its claims on the South China Sea, as Indonesia accuses China of claiming parts of the Indonesian-ruled Natuna Islands to be part of China's nine-dash line.
According to Forbes, China's nine-dash line encompasses 90 percent of the South China Sea and overlaps territories of Vietnam, Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei, and now Indonesia.
"The position of Indonesia is clear at this stage that we do not recognize the nine-dash line because it is not in line with ... international law," said Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Armanatha Nasir.
The International Business Times reported that the 750 spits of lands consisting the Spratly's Islands which are small and somewhat uninhabited. The islands make an excellent valuable commodity because of its strategic location being in the center of numerous major trade routes including the possibility of having oil or other mineral deposits.
Meanwhile, Chinese Foreign Minister Hong Lei said Thursday that China seeks to resolve these disputes on basis of historical facts and international law. China recognizes that Indonesia owns the Natuna Islands and has no objections about it, said Hong Lei.
In a report by Reuters, Indonesian security chief Luhut Panjaitan said on Wednesday that Jakarta considers taking China to an international court if negotiations over the island disputes will not work. Nasir said, "We cannot preempt things before we know how they evolve. But what is clear is that we are not a claimant state and we don't recognize the issue of the nine-dash line, which we have made clear to China." Regional leaders will discuss the issue during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting that will happen later this month.
For other countries, China may be overstepping its boundaries, but this is not how the country sees this. As the biggest country in the region in terms of land mass, population, economic strength, and military might, China sees this expansion as part of its plan to become a world super power. Most Chinese believe this move to be a defensive strategy, considering how its history against Japan and other stronger Western countries.