Saturday, 08 Augst 2020 | 19:45 WIB

Observer: China Will Not Deploy Military Power in Natuna Sea

Observer: China Will Not Deploy Military Power in Natuna Sea (maritim)

JAKARTA, NETRALNEWS.COM - Japanese geopolitics expert Kunihiko Miyake predicts that the Chinese government will probably not exert military force when it enters Natuna waters. China had earlier claimed Natuna Sea as part of its traditional territorial waters (Nine Dash Line).

"I see this situation in a fairly simple frame. China will not deploy its navy ships (to Natuna waters). However, what will be done, they will send hundreds of fishing boats followed by coast guard vessels," Miyake explained, on Monday (01/13/2020).

According to Miyake, a geopolitical expert who had a career as a diplomat in Japan, the conflict between Indonesia and China in Natuna waters probably did not involve military forces.

"If we see, China will place its coast guard vessels first at the border. This is a battle between the coastguards rather than the navy," he added in a discussion session held by the Terrorism Study Program, the School of Strategic and Global Studies at Universitas Indonesia.

Therefore, Miyake, visiting professor at Ritsumeikan University, Japan, believes that the Japanese Government can help Indonesia in strengthening its maritime boundary guarding sector.

"Many things can be done by the Japanese government. As a peace-loving country, of course Japan does not provide military assistance. However, the Japanese Government can provide support to increase Indonesia's maritime guarding capacity," explained Miyake.

The Government of Indonesia and the Government of Japan have signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation between the Indonesian Maritime Security Agency (Bakamla) and the Japan Coast Guard (JCG) in June 2019. It is planned that in February 2020, Bakamla and JCG will start partnerships in a number of fields, one of which is strengthening human capitals.

The cooperation between the Indonesian and Japanese coastal guard forces was carried out amid the unilateral claims made by China of Natuna waters at the end of last year.

At least 50 Chinese fishing boats escorted by coastguards entered the Indonesian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) mid-December 2019. Indonesian authorities through Bakamla and TNI-owned vessels had time to evict, but Chinese fishing boats and guard ships refused to move out of Indonesian waters .

A few days after the incident, the Indonesian Government sent a memorandum of protest against the Chinese Government.

"Indonesia does not have overlapping jurisdiction with China. Indonesia will never recognize China's nine dash line because withdrawing the line contradicts with UNCLOS, as decided by the UNCLOS Ruling Tribunal in 2016," the Indonesian Foreign Ministry said days after the incident, as reported by Antara.

In the latest development, the Indonesian Military (TNI) confirmed that Chinese fishing boats and boats had gone out of Indonesian waters on Sunday (12/1), said the Commander of the Joint Regional Defense Command I Rear Admiral Yudo Margono after receiving the results of the air patrol in Natuna, Riau Islands.