Is Indonesia Preparing for War with China? Jakarta Builds New Military Base

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JAKARTA, Indonesia – Recently, Indonesia has opened a military base in the southern part of the South China Sea, with the expected deployment of 1,000 military personnel.

Considered by political scientists as a point of conflict, the South China Sea is a strategic area of ​​mutual interests for major regional and extra-frontier powers.

Longstanding territorial disputes, active attempts by the United States and other Western countries to deal with disputes, hydrocarbon reserves, and the passage of strategic sea lanes across the sea all seriously increase the tensions in this region.

The militarization of the South China Sea area forces the States of the region to increase their military spending and, as a result, the risk of conflict also grows, making it even more difficult to solve the problem.

Indonesia does not participate in territorial sea disputes in question, but concerns have begun to surface in Jakarta over China’s claims to the exclusive economic zone near the archipelago of Natun.

Chinese expert Shen Shishun said he sees no reason for Indonesia to increase its military presence in the region.

“If Indonesia creates a military base within its sovereign territory, then it is necessary to understand the necessity of such a measure, that is, whether there are in fact reasons to create a base. If something threatens national security, of course you have to act. However, if there is no threat and you take military action, this may force other countries in the region to strengthen militarization in the region. inadequate,” said Shishun.

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For the expert, it is necessary to analyze the Indonesian actions, determining if they are indeed constructive for the region and if they contribute to the peace and stability of the sea.

“This is the starting point for assessing the decisions taken,” he said, “and I do not think they are necessary for Indonesia’s actions.” No one threatens Indonesia in all the waters of the South China Sea. peace and stability in the area, “he points out.

When asked about prospects for next year, the Chinese analyst said that at present, the overall situation of the sea region “is developing in the direction of stability and cooperation, and this trend is increasing.”

“If a turbulent situation arises in the region and the external threat increases, then coastal countries can take their own preventative measures. This year, the status quo was maintained in the region, and a stable and peaceful environment was maintained,” he said.

The Code of Conduct (CC) in the South China Sea, which the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China have jointly developed since 2012, aims to avoid conflicts over territorial disputes over islands and marine resources in the region. During the last summit of the organization held in Singapore in November 2018, the countries involved agreed to maintain the conduct for another three years.

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