As China, which claims 90 percent of the highly disputed South China Sea, continues to flex its military muscle to have its presence in the area highly felt, other countries with existing claims to the area are starting to step up showing their military might as well.
In the recent development in the tension that’s been dragging for years now, Indonesia has step up to assert its claim in the disputed area. According to a report from Reuters, government-owned power company Pertamina is set to conduct an exploratory mission in its border area. The company will explore the the oil and gas-rich area in South China Sea.
Based on reports, Pertamina eyes to explore its borders with Australia and Malaysia. The mission would also include portion of the South China Sea as its plan to make its presence felt in the region.
Pertamina chief Syamsu Alam told Reuters on Monday it’s the high time the country start to assert its territorial rights in the region. Alam said China has been relentless in its position in the region because Indonesia hasn’t been firm in asserting its claim in the region the past years.
“The government needs to have activities around the borders and one of Pertamina’s strategies is to support this. So, like the South China Sea and the borders in North Kalimantan, we need to have some activities there,” Alam was quoted as saying by Reuters.
Meanwhile, the Japanese government is also stepping up by dispatching its JS Ise, a 1 3,950-ton Hyūga-class helicopter destroyer. The fighter helicopter was deployed through the vast area of South China Sea last week, the Diplomat reported.
The deployment of the helicopter was part of Japan’s joint naval exercise with the Indonesian Navy dubbed as Multilateral Naval Exercise Komodo (MNEK) 2016. The naval drill, which is hosted by the Indonesian Navy will run from April 12 to 16.