New Zealand’s claims in disputed waters as Indonesia and New Zealand clash
New Zealand has claimed the exclusive economic zone of the South China Sea as part of its territorial claims, as the Indonesian-Nigeria-Australia-US alliance is expected to be launched in coming days.
The claim, which is being contested in the international arbitration tribunal in The Hague, comes as the alliance is to begin military exercises off the coasts of the Philippines and Vietnam next week, as it tries to counter Chinese aggression in the region.
It is also a sign that New Zealand and Indonesia have been working to expand their maritime claims.
The claims were made in a joint statement in the Indonesian capital Jakarta on Friday by the foreign ministers of Indonesia and Malaysia, as well as the foreign ministry of New Zealand.
They stated: “The South China sea has been the scene of significant international and regional disputes over the last three decades, including the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands dispute in the East China Sea, as has the South Taiwan Strait dispute, the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands dispute, and the Spratly Islands dispute.
The South East Asian countries are also seeking to expand the territorial waters of the region.”
They added: “As an independent nation, we have a right to peacefully conduct and conduct operations in the South East Asia, including our Exclusive Economic Zone, to address the challenges posed by rising tensions in the area.”
Indonesia, a member of the AU, has made similar claims in the Indian Ocean.
The US and the Philippines are both members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a grouping of about 40 countries.
The AU is an independent grouping of regional nations with the exception of the US and Russia, which are members of Nato.
Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said that the AU should be reformed to include all nations.
“This is an issue that needs to be addressed,” he told reporters.
“We want to change the AU.
We need a new AU.
There is no one person who is responsible for it.”
Indias claim to the South Sea is disputed by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.
The ASEAN alliance was established in 2012 and has a permanent membership of 15 countries.
India, which has its own claim to part of the disputed South ChinaSea, has consistently said it is entitled to take part in the AU’s maritime exercises.
In October, the foreign minister of Indonesia, Hadi Awang, said that his country was ready to participate in the exercise as long as there was no conflict.
New Zealand has repeatedly said it will participate in joint military exercises with countries in the grouping, but has not yet stated which countries are expected to take up the challenge.
The New Zealand Defence Force has said it would not take part.
Earlier this month, the New Zealand prime minister, John Key, made a point of emphasising that he did not consider his country’s claims to the disputed waters of Indonesia to be disputed.
“The South Sea region has been contested for many years.
This is a matter of fact.
This South Sea Region is a part of our country’s history,” he said.