pacific forum History of Pacific Forum

PacNet #37 – Synergy or Neutrality? Time for US and Indonesia to Clarify Positions on the South China Sea

Amidst recent debate about Indonesia’s policy in the South China Sea, late last month Commander of the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) Gen. Moeldoko published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal addressing this issue head on. Moeldoko reiterated Indonesia’s current ‘free and active’ (bebas aktif) foreign policy, while clarifying that it is not a claimant in any of the disputes in the area. He also however expressed frustration with China’s claims in the area, stating that Indonesia was “dismayed” that China had included waters around the Natuna islands within its nine dash line map.