Building U.S.-Indonesia Mutual Understanding Since 1994

Maritime Security in the Southeast Asia/South China Sea

Disputes between China and ASEAN member states over territorial claims in the South China Sea continue to dominate the current round of ASEAN’s annual security meeting. Dr. Djalal’s timely presentation will shed light on the reasons behind some of the region’s naval disputes as well as key issues surrounding maritime security in Southeast Asia.

With over 17, 000 islands and nearly 34, 000 miles of coastline, defense of Indonesian waters has become a major concern for the archipelago as it seeks to maintain national unity and stability. The refocusing of Indonesia’s Armed Forces to maritime security is demonstrative of this reprioritization.

With problems of piracy, human-trafficking and terrorism continuing to plague the region, Indonesia is engaging its neighbors to secure Southeast Asian waters. One example of this increased cooperation is Indonesia’s critical partnership in the Tri-Border Initiative which protects the vital seaways between itself, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Dr. Djalal will also discuss the controversial issues of foreign military intelligence activities in Indonesia’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and major power interests, in particular the problem of navigation through the straits of Malacca and the archipelagic sea-lanes.