Thursday, November 23, 2017

Kerry B. Collison Asia News: Sydney Morning Herald Book Review

Kerry B. Collison Asia News: Sydney Morning Herald Book Review: Sydney Morning Herald Book Review “Rockefeller & the Demise of Ibu Pertiwi review: Mystery and politics in W Papua” Cameron Wo...

Sydney Morning Herald Book Review


Sydney Morning Herald Book Review

“Rockefeller & the Demise of Ibu Pertiwi review: Mystery and politics in W Papua”

  • Cameron Woodhead

Rockefeller & the Demise of Ibu Pertiwi

Kerry B. Collison

Sid Harta, $24.95

Kerry B. Collison brings a deep knowledge of Indonesian history and politics to his latest novel. Using as a hook the mysterious disappearance of Michael C. Rockefeller in 1961, the novel soon immerses us in a multi-faceted history of West Papua (Irian Jaya), a former Dutch colony annexed by Indonesia in the 1960s. It's a geopolitical thriller that includes every conceivable perspective and stakeholder, from remote mountain villages to the United Nation, from international mining companies and the Indonesian military to the Papuan independence movement. Rockefeller's vanishing gets an imaginative explanation, as events conspire to ignite the possibility of war between Australia and Indonesia (in a case of East Timor revisited on a larger scale) over the question of self-determination. Perhaps a touch scattered as fiction, but sure to intrigue anyone interested in geopolitical strategy and the history of our region

Kerry B. Collison Asia News: ARCHIPELAGIC SEA-LANES IN INDONESIA – THEIR LEGALI...

Kerry B. Collison Asia News: ARCHIPELAGIC SEA-LANES IN INDONESIA – THEIR LEGALI...: ARCHIPELAGIC SEA-LANES IN INDONESIA – THEIR LEGALITY IN INTERNATIONAL LAW Chris Forward *     Introduction In May 1996, Indo...

ARCHIPELAGIC SEA-LANES IN INDONESIA – THEIR LEGALITY IN INTERNATIONAL LAW


ARCHIPELAGIC SEA-LANES IN INDONESIA – THEIR LEGALITY IN INTERNATIONAL LAW

Chris Forward*

 

 Introduction

In May 1996, Indonesia submitted the first (and only) proposal for the designation of three Archipelagic Sea Lanes (ASLs) within its archipelago to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). The IMO has claimed the mandate of being the ‘competent international organisation’ referred to in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOSC)1 for designating ASLs.2 After significant protests from major maritime countries including Australia and the United States (a prominent non-signatory to the LOSC),3 the IMO declared Indonesia’s submission a ‘partial designation’ of ASLs.4 This has provided maritime countries a significant victory as the declaration has rendered the Indonesian ASLs practically useless because because there is no compulsion for maritime countries to use them. Maritime countries, through their influence over the IMO, have maintained almost complete and unfettered access for shipping within the archipelagic waters of Indonesia. This paper examines the Indonesian submission to determine the validity of the IMO’s declaration at international law. Specifically, it examines the authority of the IMO as a self professed ‘competent international organisation’, the role it has undertaken in the process, and the legality of its determination that Indonesia’s ASL submission was a ‘partial declaration’.

This paper makes three assertions. First, despite claims to the contrary,5 the LOSC is not a universal codification of the law of the sea nor is it a ‘Constitution for the Oceans’.6 It is a fundamental treaty which numerous states are bound to adhere through being signatories. However, numerous important non-signatories, the significant quantity of declarations on the interpretation of its provisions and the failure of the treaty to declare its jurisdiction over non-signatories mean the treaty is not a full embodiment of universally applicable customary law. The LOSC has universal application where it can be shown that it codifies existing customary law. However, the treaty has introduced significant new concepts such as the archipelagic state, archipelagic sea-lane passage (ASLP) and ASLs. To be universally applicable (that is applicable to all states, including non-signatories), it must be demonstrated that the international legal concepts pioneered by LOSC have been accepted as representing customary international law.7 This paper argues that as there has been no complete implementation of the process for designating ASLs through the process designated by the LOSC, the process cannot be accepted as valid international customary law. Therefore the process is only binding on countries who are party to the treaty. Secondly, in the absence of being specifically named in the LOSC treaty, the IMO must show it has been recognised as having the mandate as the ‘competent maritime authority’ to designate ASLs.8 It is argued that the IMO does not have this mandate yet, despite its declaration to the contrary. Finally, the paper analyses the conduct of the IMO in its consideration of Indonesia’s submission for recognition of ASLs within its territory and specifically the legality of its declaration of the submission as being a ‘partial submission’.


 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Kerry B. Collison Asia News: Indonesia boosts its air and sea denial capabiliti...

Kerry B. Collison Asia News: Indonesia boosts its air and sea denial capabiliti...:   Indonesia was reported to be among the countries that expressed interest in the Indo-Russian BrahMos supersonic cruise missile at ...

Indonesia boosts its air and sea denial capabilities


 

Indonesia was reported to be among the countries that expressed interest in the Indo-Russian BrahMos supersonic cruise missile at the recent Dubai Air Show. Under its Minimum Essential Force program, Jakarta aims to improve air and sea denial capacities, with a primary focus on anti-ship and anti-submarine warfare in coastal waters.

The Indonesian military expansion is coming amid escalating tensions with China over a contested area around the Natuna Islands, which belong to the Southeast Asian country.

Bottom of Form

Missiles, frigates and subs

Jakarta’s arsenal of anti-ship missiles is already quite robust. It includes the French MM-38 and MM-40 Exocet, the Russian SSC-3 Styx and SS-N-26 Yakhont, and the Chinese C-802. BrahMos would be a pretty notable addition to Indonesia’s missile forces, as it is one of the world’s fastest anti-ship and land-attack cruise projectiles.

BrahMos can be fired from ships, submarines and ground-based platforms. A variant for the Su-30 MKI fighter is set to be tested for the first time, according to Indian media reports.

Frigates and submarines are the other two pillars of Indonesia’s planned sea denial architecture

Frigates and submarines are the other two pillars of Indonesia’s planned sea denial architecture. On October 30, the second of two Sigma 10514 PKR guided-missile frigates was delivered to Jakarta by local shipbuilder PT Pal and Dutch defense contractor Damen. The Sigma 10514 PKR frigate is a multi-role vessel that can be used for patrol missions in the country’s economic exclusive zone (EEZ), as well as for anti-air, anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare and maritime security.

The Indonesian navy has also delayed the decommissioning of its Ahmad Yani-class frigates. A number of them will be sent to the Natuna Sea before the deployment of Sigma 10514 PKR frigates is completed.

As well, Indonesia received a Type 209 Chang Bogo-class attack submarine in August. The first of three vessels ordered in 2011, it was built by South Korean defense firm DSME. Jakarta plans to construct a fleet of 10 to 12 multipurpose submarines capable of operating in shallow (“green”) and blue waters alike.

As far as air defense is concerned, Indonesia recently finalized the acquisition of a complete NASAMS medium-range air defense system from Norwegian manufacturer Kongsberg. The ground-based platform will have to be equipped with US-made Raytheon AIM-120 missiles.

Indonesia currently relies on short-range surface-to-air missiles like the Swiss-manufactured Oerlikon Skyshield system. NASAMS will be deployed to protect the country’s capital city, but it could also be stationed to defend military installations on the Natuna islands.

Changing posture

Indonesia is an archipelago nation of about 18,000 islands. In July, Jakarta renamed the northern portion of its EEZ in the South China Sea as “North Natuna Sea.” This move drew a harsh response from Beijing, which disputes Indonesian claims to the waters surrounding the Natuna Islands.

The Natunas do not fall within China’s “Nine Dash Line,” which delineates the Asian giant’s claims to the South China Sea. However, Beijing lays claim to waters north of these Indonesian islands. The area is a rich fishing ground and is believed to have abundant oil and natural gas reserves.

To counter Chinese territorial demands, the Indonesian government is building up air and naval facilities on the Natuna Islands. Last year, Indonesian Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu said his country would ramp up defenses around the Natunas by deploying warships, F-16 fighters, surface-to-air missiles, drones and a radar. In support of military activities on the Natunas, the Indonesian air force has also proposed developing an air base on Batam island, 20 kilometers off Singapore’s southern coast.

Susi Pudjiastuti, Indonesia’s maritime affairs and fisheries minister, said last month that her country would have to reinforce naval defenses against illegal fishing by foreign-flagged ships. Poaching cases in Natuna waters have multiplied in recent years. Notably, the constant presence of Chinese fishing boats, supported by their country’s coast guard, has strained relations between Indonesia and the Asian powerhouse – Jakarta and Beijing had three naval skirmishes last year.

Indonesia has maintained a low profile in the South China Sea until recently. Now, while Vietnam and the Philippines have softened their opposition to Chinese territorial demands (which have also been rejected by an international tribunal), Jakarta has become more assertive in safeguarding its maritime interests.

The Indonesian military build-up in the region bordering the South China Sea can be viewed mostly as geopolitical posturing. Jakarta wants to send a message to Beijing that it will defend its sovereign rights. But only strategic cooperation with regional and non-regional actors wary of China’s military expansion will give teeth to Jakarta to face Chinese pressure on the (North) Natuna Sea.

By Emanuele Scimia November 20,