Indonesian military and political observer wants the country to show more aggression against China's reckless claim. (Image via Jawa Pos)

Source: Indonesia should be more 'offensive' toward China

The Indonesian political and military experts criticized Indonesia’s “mushy” reaction shown by the Minister of Defense, Prabowo Subianto, and the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, regarding the territorial dispute between Indonesian and China on Natuna waters.

Since December, Chinese fish boats guarded with Chinese frigate had been entering Natuna waters, included within Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). China claimed that Natuna is still within its territory, based on its historical Nine-Dash Line.

However, in 2016, the International Arbitration Court (IAC) determined that China has no rights in ruling the entire South China Sea.

Executive Director of Indonesia's Institute of Defense and Security Studies, Connie Rahakundini Bakrie, said that the Prabowo and Luhut showed such an embarrassing behavior because China is a “key investor” in Indonesia.

She asserted that investment and state sovereignty are two different things. When investing in one country, that means cooperation. Connie said that China should know its boundary when it entered Indonesia’s territory without permission.

While indeed, China is one of the key investors in Indonesia, that doesn’t mean that they can do whatsoever they want, said Connie. Through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Indonesia filed a letter of protest against China and summoned its Embassy regarding the Natuna dispute.

She stated her concern that Prabowo and Luhut’s stances on the matter are contradictive to the mandate from the President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, generally known as Jokowi, to protect the sovereignty of Indonesia on its own waters.

Calling for more concrete action, Connie pointed out that through the ASEAN Political & Security Pillar, Indonesia could ask for help from its ASEAN neighbors to patrol the waters to protect the sovereignty of each nation.