September 22, 2023

China’s New Map Uproar: RI has Pushed for Negotiations on the South China Sea Code of Conduct

  • September 1, 2023
  • 3 min read
China’s New Map Uproar: RI has Pushed for Negotiations on the South China Sea Code of Conduct

Indonesia as chairman of ASEAN this year has encouraged the acceleration of negotiations on a code of conduct or code of ethics in the South China Sea with China. This conflict-prone water area has recently been discuse again after Beijing launched a new map of China.
China on Monday, August 28, 2023, released a map of the famous U-shaped line that covers about 90 percent of the South China Sea. This water area is a trade route worth more than US$3 trillion every year.
Beijing says the lines are based on its historical maps. It is not yet clear whether the latest maps show any new claims to the area. The U-shaped line in China runs 1,500 kilometers south of Hainan Island and cuts through the exclusive economic zones (EEZ) of Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia.

Director of ASEAN Political Security Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Rolliansyah Soemirat, in a written press statement on Friday, September 1 2023, said that apart from speeding up negotiations, Indonesia, through these guidelines, wants the code of ethics to become a practical but substantive reference, so that it continues to be effective and running.
The guidelines summarize ASEAN and China’s aspirations to complete the code of conduct in 3 years or less, through intensive discussion of pending issues. the process,” said Rolliansyah.
Previously, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said that the drawing of territorial lines, including the 2023 edition of China’s standard map, must be in accordance with the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982). He stated this after a joint working meeting with Commission I DPR RI at the Parliament Complex Senayan, Jakarta, Thursday, August 31 2023.Retno also said that this was an attitude that Indonesia had always consistently held in terms of territorial sovereignty. “Indonesia’s position is not a new position, but a position that has always convey consistently,” he said.
The Philippines, Malaysia and Taiwan are united in rejecting the map issued by China. The Philippines on Thursday, August 31 2023, called on Beijing to act responsibly and comply with its obligations under international law. Manila cited a 2016 arbitration ruling that found the lines in China’s new map had no legal basis.
Meanwhile, Malaysia said it had lodged a diplomatic protest over the map. Malaysia in a statement on Wednesday, August 30, 2023, said the new map had no binding authority over Malaysia, which “also views the South China Sea as a complex and sensitive issue”.

Wider Geographic Area

The latest map covers a wider geographic area and has a line with 10 dashes covering Taiwan, similar to China’s 1948 map. China also published a map with 10 dashes in 2013.
When it came to the latest map, Taiwanese Foreign Ministry spokesman Jeff Liu said Taiwan was “not part of the People’s Republic of China at all”. On Wednesday, August 30 2023, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin expressed his hope that each party would not over-interpret the country’s new map. “We hope that relevant parties can remain objective and calm, and refrain from over-interpreting this matter,” Wang Wenbin said in a statement to media in Beijing.

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