Indonesia hopes tensions in East Asia will not escalate

11 December, 2013 | Source: The Jakarta Post

Indonesia is hoping that tensions in the East Asian region will decline and not lead to instability, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has said.


"From Bangkalan, Madura, I call on my colleagues, the leaders in East Asia, as well as other leaders who have an interest in East Asia to find a peaceful solution and exercise restraint. We do not want to see the situation escalating and worsening," he added at a press conference at the Bangkalan district administration building on the island of Madura in East Java here on Friday.

President Yudhoyono said he is very concerned with the developments in the East Asian region.

"I am concerned as the leader of Indonesia, the largest country in Southeast Asia, about the rising tensions in East Asia, tensions between China and Japan and other countries," he noted.

He stated: "I am worried that if countries do not exercise restraint, there is a possibility of military conflict, which will threaten the security and stability of East Asia."

Comparing the East Asia tensions to the South China Sea dispute, President Yudhoyono said tensions in the South China Sea dispute eased after regional organizations became involved in the resolution process and communication increased between the concerned countries.

China and several Southeast Asian nations claim sovereignty over some islets in the South China Sea.

President Yudhoyono expressed hope that the rising tensions in East Asia could also be managed similarly.

On November 23, China announced an expansion of its air defense identification zone and declared that any aircraft passing through the zone, which includes some highly disputed islands, must first report its flight plan to China.

However, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the US have defied China and sent aircraft through the zone without informing China, indicating that they rejected Chinas demand.(*)

 

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