Indonesia next in line to challenge China’s South Sea claims

Indonesia could become the latest country to question China’s claim to all the South China Sea.

As reported by Voice of America (VOA), Indonesia’s security chief Luhut Panjaitan said on November 11 that Jakarta is working hard on the issue and trying to approach the Chinese to discuss concerns about China’s controversial territorial claims in the South China Sea.

“We would like to see a solution on this in the near future through dialogue, or we could bring it to the International Criminal Court,” Luhut was quoted as saying, referring to the international tribunal and its Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague.

The Philippines has already taken China to the international court, and the court recently ruled that it could hear some of the claims the Philippines filed against China, reported VOA.

China, however, has rejected the arbitration. China has long argued that disputes in the South China Sea should only be handled bilaterally and not through international intervention. In a separate report, the Reuters news agency said the Philippines will soon host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Manila. It is an event at which the United States says the South China Sea will likely come up on the sidelines.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said China hoped “sensitive political topics” would not be discussed there.

“We hope all sides can uphold the economic trade essence of the APEC forum,” he told reporters in Beijing.

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