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Indonesia ready to work with countries to finalise South China Sea code, says foreign minister
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Indonesia ready to work with countries to finalise South China Sea code, says foreign minister

Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi revealed on Jan 9 that her nation is all set to collaborate with other South-east Asian countries to finalise a long-delayed code of conduct for the South China Sea, where many of its neighbours have overlapping claims with China. “On the South China Sea, Indonesia is all set to collaborate with all Asean member states involving the Philippines to finalise the code of conduct as soon as possible,” Ms Retno said at a joint press conference with her Philippine counterpart Enrique Manalo in Manila, ahead of a visit by Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

Asean and China have for years been attempting to create a framework to negotiate a code of conduct, a plan dating as far back as 2002. But progress has been sluggish despite commitments by all parties to advance and expedite the process. China stakes its claim on its maps with the use of a “nine-dash line” that loops as far as 1,500km south of its mainland, cutting into the exclusive economic zones of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam. A 2016 international arbitral tribunal governing invalidated most of China’s claims, a decision that Beijing has denied.