Indonesian expert says ASEAN needs to discuss East Sea issue in various forums

An Indonesian expert has said that the Chinese survey vessel group Haiyang Dizhi 8's activity in Vietnam's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is clearly a breach of international law and must be condemned. Programme Coordinator of the Indonesian Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, Beni Sukadis, held that any country which has ratified the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea must comply with it.

ASEAN should bring the East Sea issue to forums for discussion, he said, adding that ASEAN has its own principles, called ASEAN Way, which upholds respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations. These principles need to be heightened not only among ASEAN member states but also in the entire Southeast Asian region. He said that if a nation outside ASEAN violates the territory of an ASEAN member state, then ASEAN is obliged to gather to seriously discuss the matter. Sukadis also expected that negotiations on a Code of Conduct in the East Sea between ASEAN and China will be fruitful.

Meanwhile, Associate Professor. Dr. Dinna Wisnu at the Department of International Relations, the Jakarta-based Bina Nusantara University said what China is doing in the East Sea is unacceptable and makes regional countries very concerned. She urged regional countries to take a stronger position against China and that it is crucial to further strengthen bilateral agreements among ASEAN member states, particularly regarding the economy, to consolidate power and create a better position for the group at international forums.

Source: VOV5