Indonesia Takes Cautious Stance As China Survey Ship Lingers

Indonesia Takes Cautious Stance As China Survey Ship Lingers

Andrew H. Sweet

A month and a half after a large Chinese survey vessel entered the Natuna Sea, Indonesia still seems to pursue a quiet, cautious approach at sea, despite public pressure.

Jakarta has been playing down the presence of the Chinese ship, even after experts pointed out that the grid-like pattern it creates is typical of a maritime seabed survey. Domestic pressure has been building with some researchers, like Imam Prakoso from the Indonesia Ocean Justice Initiative, saying that it's likely that the Haiyang Dizhi 10 has been "carrying out unlawful research activity."

While Indonesia does not regard itself as a party to the South China Sea dispute, which pits the sweeping claims of China against those of several of its neighbors, Beijing does claim historic rights to areas overlapping Indonesia's exclusive economic zone

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