Indonesian views of managing disputes through cooperation in the South China Sea and the obstacles

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Indonesia has promoted dialogue and cooperation to manage disputes in the South China Sea (SCS) since the early 1990s. Indonesia’s perspective on cooperation favors multilateral negotiation and focuses on common goods rather than short-term goals to exploit hydrocarbon resources. The cooperation involves collaborative efforts to maintain maritime security and navigation safety, to protect and preserve the marine environment, and to contribute to the building of trust among claimant states. Deep concerns over conflicts in the SCS have encouraged Indonesia to undertake its own initiatives, including: facilitating multilateral informal dialogue through the South China Sea Workshop; encouraging Association of Southeast Asian Nations countries and China to manage conflicts through a Code of Conduct; promoting the application of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea; and creating bridges between conflicting parties though diplomatic mechanisms. However, problems remain in the implementation of these initiatives, due to disagreements over definition of the locations and the field for cooperation activities and how actors can be involved. In order to nurture trust among littoral states, other types of cooperation are worth considering. Those considered are a multilateral and informal approach and involving young people through joint activities (such as the “Peace Boat”) to educate them on the problems and to nurture trust and cooperation in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCooperative Development in the South China Sea
Subtitle of host publicationPolicies, Obstacles, and Prospects
PublisherTaylor and Francis Ltd.
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781000167429
ISBN (Print)9780367529680
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


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