Indonesia could take China to the International Criminal Court (ICC) if Beijing’s claim to the majority of the South China Sea and part of Indonesian territory is not resolved through dialogue, Indonesia’s security chief said on Wednesday. Beijing’s claim to almost the entire South China Sea is shown on Chinese maps with a nine-dash line that stretches deep into the maritime heart of Southeast Asia, including parts of the Indonesian-held Natuna islands.
Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei also claim parts of the waterway. The Philippines has already taken China to the ICC in The Hague, a case Beijing refuses to recognise. Indonesia believes China’s claim over parts of the Natuna islands has no legal basis.
“We are working very hard on this. We are trying to approach the Chinese,” Luhut Panjaitan told reporters. “We would like to see a solution on this in the near future through dialogue, or we could bring it to the International Criminal Court.” “We don’t want to see any power projection in this area. We would like a peaceful solution by promoting dialogue.
The nine-dash line is a problem we are facing, but not only us. It also directly (impacts) the interests of Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam and the Philippines.” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Wednesday the Philippines’ case against China before the ICC had strained relations and that it was up to the Philippines to heal the rift.