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Widodo pushes for dialogue to resolve South China Sea conflict

/ 07:40 AM February 16, 2016
Indonesian President Joko Widodo. AP FILE PHOTO

Indonesian President Joko Widodo. AP FILE PHOTO

RANCHO MIRAGE, California– Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Monday said the South China Sea disputes must be settled through dialogue.

“Indonesia is not a claimant state in the South China Sea and we want the conflict resolved through dialogue,” Widodo said at a 10-minute press briefing shortly before the official start of the special summit of US President Barack Obama and 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) leaders in what some quarter believes to be a move to “counter” China.

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READ: Obama to meet Asean leaders to ‘counter’ China

The Indonesian President last year was quoted in the media during his visit in Washington, D.C.. last year calling for restraint among parties in the South China Sea, an apparent swipe at China’s massive reclamation and island building works on  contested marine features.

READ: Indonesian president calls for restraint in South China Sea

In his statement to Southeast Asian journalists before the Sunnylands summit, Widodo called for the strict implementation of the Declaration of Conduct among parties in the South China Sea signed by Asean and China in 2002.

The Philippines, Brunei, Taiwan and Vietnam, and Malaysia have overlapping claims in the disputed energy-rich South China Sea which China is assuming what it said as “indisputable sovereignty” over almost the entire sea.

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TAGS: ASEAN, China, dialogue, Indonesia, Joko Widodo, Philippines, South China Sea, territorial dispute, West Philippine Sea
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