Date
23 October 2017
Jakarta may approach an international court if it is unable to resolve a South China Sea dispute through talks, says Luhut Pandjaitan.
Jakarta may approach an international court if it is unable to resolve a South China Sea dispute through talks, says Luhut Pandjaitan.

Indonesia mulls international tribunal amid South China Sea row

Indonesia says it may take China to an international tribunal if it is unable to resolve Beijing’s South China Sea territorial claims through dialogue.

Luhut Pandjaitan, who is in charge of Indonesia’s coordinating ministry of political, legal and security affairs, said on Wednesday that Jakarta is concerned that the Natuna islands could be affected by China’s maritime claims.

The government will seek to resolve the matter through talks, but if the effort proves unsuccessful the issue may be placed before an international tribunal, he said, according to the Wall Street Journal.  

Indoendia’s Natuna islands lie within the “nine-dash” line that China has used on maps, based on historical claims, to assert territorial rights to nearly the entire sea.

Pandjaitan said China’s line lacks a legal basis but it could affect the Natunas, an area rich in oil and gas.

“We would like to see a solution on this in the near future [through] dialogue,” he was quoted as saying at a public forum.

“This is, I think, the best solution instead of power projections.”

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