In a move that has escalated tensions in the South China Sea region, Beijing released its 2023 edition of the “standard map” on Aug. 28, claiming vast swathes of disputed waters under its sovereignty.

This provocative assertion has not only drawn criticism from neighboring countries such as Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei, but also international concerns, including India and the United States. Indonesia, another country with an interest in the South China Sea, is watching the situation closely.

Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto commented on the matter, saying, “I think there are authorities studying the situation,” when asked about the latest map of China. Indonesia also stressed the importance of adhering to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in drawing territorial lines, and strengthening its commitment to international law.

Strong rejection from India

India lodged a strong protest against China’s claims on the “Standard Map”, rejecting Beijing’s assertions on Indian territory.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, S. Jaishankar rejected China’s claims, saying that “making a map doesn’t mean anything” and that China had a history of making unsubstantiated territorial claims. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MEA) has expressed concern that such actions by China will complicate the resolution of border disputes.

The United States joins the fray

The United States also raised the issue, firmly rejecting what it called “illegal maritime claims” made by China.

“We reject the illegal maritime claims reflected on that map and call on the People’s Republic of China to abide by its maritime claims in the South China Sea and elsewhere with the ‘international law of the sea’ as articulated in the 2003 Convention on the Law of the Sea,” said Principal Deputy Spokesperson for the US State Department, Vedant Patel. 1982.”

China defends its actions

In response to the growing international backlash, China has defended its release of the “standard map”, describing it as a routine exercise. “China’s position on the South China Sea is consistent and clear,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin. He also called on the concerned countries to look at it “objectively and rationally”.


(tags for translation)indonesia

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