An international symposium took place at Shangri-La Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia, on August 22 to look into maritime security in Asia, along with challenges and opportunities for peace, stability and sustainability.
At the three panel discussions, scholars analysed current maritime security challenges, especially in the East Sea where China has ramped up activities threatening peace, security and stability in the region.
They underscored the need to comply with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea so as to resolve sea-related security challenges, thereby helping maintain peace, stability and sustainable development.
Many opinions shared the view that as ASEAN is an important stakeholder in the East Sea issue, the bloc’s member nations should promote their cooperation and optimise such frameworks as the ASEAN Regional Forum and the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting.
They called on the regional countries to actively settle East Sea disputes through peaceful negotiations, which will also help ASEAN affirm its central role and growing stature in the world.
At the symposium, participants also talked about ASEAN cooperation in fisheries, disaster prevention, navigation and customs.
The event was held following The Hague tribunal’s ruling on the East Sea-related lawsuit filed by the Philippines against China.
Arif Havas Oegroseno, Indonesia’s Deputy Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Resources, told Vietnam News Agency that ASEAN nations which are involved in East Sea disputes need to take stronger actions by making clear commitments on conduct in the waters.
Sea-related matters are mentioned in legal documents, and countries who violate them can be sued if they are parties to commitments stated in international law on the sea, he added.