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Indonesia, US agree on South China Sea
Diplomacy is the only way to solve territorial issues, they sayHillary Clinton with Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa (Cabinet Secretariat of the Republic of Indonesia)
- Ryan Dagur, Jakarta
- September 4, 2012
â€śRegarding the South China Sea, both countries still haveÂ a similar view that the territorial dispute should be settled peacefully and through diplomaticÂ means according to the principals of international law and the law of the sea,â€ť Natalegawa said during a press conference held yesterday at the Foreign MinistryÂ in Jakarta.
Indonesia and the US recognized the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific so that this regionâ€™s welfare and progress could be achieved, he continued. The South China Sea is home to islands claimed by Brunei, China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam and has been increasingly the subject of international debate on rights for fishing and extraction.
Clinton said the US does not take a position on competing territorial claims. â€śWe believe the nations of the region should work collaboratively to resolve disputes without coercion, without intimidation and certainly without the use of force,â€ť she said.
The US, she added, has a national interest in the maintenance of peace and solidarity, respect for international law, freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful commerce in the South China Sea.
â€śIt is time for diplomacy,â€ť she said.
At summit in July in Cambodia, the 10 member countries of ASEAN Â failed to reach consensus on how to handle the dispute.
Indonesia, which does not lay claim to any of the contested islands, has played a significant role in putting a six-point plan together, including the implementation of Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea.
Dinna Wisnu, director of the Jakarta-based Paramadina Graduate School of Diplomacy, backed the high ranking officialsâ€™ remarks. However, â€śdialogue and diplomacy could be easily broken if related parties deliver sharp statements against one another," she said.
She also said that Clintonâ€™s visits to Asia-Pacific countries are part of the USâ€™s effort to keep its interest in the region. â€śThe USâ€™s big foreign policy, besides getting out of the Middle East issue, is to keep its image and interest in the Asia-Pacific region.â€ť
ASEAN remains divided on territorial row
Spratly islands standoff continues