Indonesia warns against arms race | Magnet
Indonesia expresses concern over an arms race in the region after Australia announced plans to acquire nuclear-powered submarines as part of a new Indo-Pacific security alliance with the United States. United and Great Britain.
Known as AUKUS, the alliance will see Australia obtain the technology to deploy nuclear-powered submarines as part of a deal meant to respond to China’s growing power.
In a statement issued on Friday, the Indonesian Foreign Ministry cautiously noted Australia’s decision to acquire the submarines and said it was “deeply concerned about the continued arms race and the projection of power. In the region”.
The Foreign Office called on Australia to maintain its commitment to regional peace and stability, and reiterated its respect for international law.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told ABC Radio on Friday that Indonesian Defense and Foreign Ministers have been briefed on the plans and that he intends to meet with Indonesian President Joko Widodo soon.
There have been growing tensions in the contested South China Sea, a strategic waterway with potential wealth in oil and gas, as countries attempt to push back maritime claims from China.
Indonesia’s navy said on Thursday it had stepped up patrols around its Natuna Islands this week after saying Chinese and US ships had been detected in the country’s waters.
The president of a fishing alliance in Natuna said Indonesian fishermen spotted six Chinese vessels, including warships, in Natuna’s waters this week and also regularly saw US vessels.
“We are concerned that we will be caught in the middle of a war and that it will not be safe for us to look for fish,” said Hendri, who uses only one name.
China has not claimed the Natuna Islands, but says it has fishing rights nearby in a self-proclaimed nine-dash line that includes most of the South China Sea – a claim disputed by some South Asian countries -Is and not internationally recognized.
Associated Australian Press