Jakarta (ANTARA News) – Indonesia and Singapore can take the initiative to encourage countries involved in the South China Sea dispute to sit together to solve it, Indonesian senior diplomat Hasjim Djalal said.
“Indonesia and Singapore can take the initiative to bring the conflicting parties to negotiations,” he said in a discussion on “The South China Sea Disputes: Will ASEAN and China Find Convergence?” here on Saturday.
The discussion was held as a side event of the 3rd Indonesian Foreign Policy Conference themed “Win-Winning ASEAN, Conquering Globalization”. The conference highlighted 50 years of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and globalization.
As non-claimant countries, Indonesia and Singapore can take the initiative to bring claimant countries to a meeting, he said.
According to the expert in law of the sea, non-claimant ASEAN member states should encourage claimant countries to sit together to find a solution to the dispute.
“We need diplomatic initiative on the part of Indonesia and Singapore as non-claimant ASEAN member states to encourage claimant ASEAN member states to sit together with China,” he said.
The South China Sea disputes involve both island and maritime claims among several sovereign states within the region, namely Brunei, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.
An estimated US$5 trillion worth of global trade passes through the South China Sea and many non-claimant states want the South China Sea to remain international waters.