By: Elena Grace Flores
Indonesian President Joko Widodo hold a specified cabinet meeting onboard a warship at Natunas to send a strong sign to China that the country will not let go of Natunas and surrounding waters as part of Indonesia without a fight. Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung stressed the finality of the sovereignty among journalists. President Jokowi is accompanied by Pramono, his Chief Security Minister, Foreign Minister, Fisheries Minister, military chief and relevant officials aboard navy warship KRI Imam Bonjol. A warning shot was to alert approaching Chinese fishermen with no injuries but China reported that one was injured
They also detained one Chinese fishing vessel with seven people on board which is scheduled for inspection by Jokowi himself.“Guard … defend the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia.”; the president wrote on the guest book of the war ship. The Chinese Foreign Ministry also made sure that Natuna waters was not referred to as the “Chinese fishermen’s fishing grounds,” but it was “where China and Indonesia have overlapping claims for maritime rights and interests.”
China for years have tried dragging Indonesia into its dispute with the Philippines, with Vietnam, with Malaysia and Brunei – and now, they got a tough reply through the brave actions of the Indonesian President. Will Duterte of the Philippines follow suit?