Indonesia has once again urged all parties to respect international laws in response to the escalating tensions between China and the United States in the South China Sea.

Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Retno Marsudi, on Thursday said that respect for international laws, including the United Nations’ Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982, is a key aspect that needs to be enforced by all parties in response to, what she referred to as, “concerning” developments in the territorial waters.

“All countries hope for a stable and peaceful South China Sea,” Marsudi said at a press conference held virtually from the Presidential Palace, here.

The minister also affirmed Indonesia’s firm and consistent position on its sovereign territory in the South China Sea.

The position adopted by Indonesia on its exclusive economic zone is in accordance with UNCLOS 1982 and is supported by the Arbitration Tribunal ruling of 2016, she continued.

“Indonesia underlines the importance of the contribution from all countries to maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea, and calls on all countries to refrain from actions that could increase tension in the region,” Marsudi reiterated.

Meanwhile, relations between the US and China have continued to remain tense, with the United States on Monday (July 13, 2020) refusing China’s disputed claim over offshore resources in most of the South China Sea territory.

US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, stated that China has used intimidation against other South East Asian coastal countries for years, as reported by Reuters.

The US has long resisted China’s vast territorial claims over the South China Sea by regularly sending warships through the strategic sea lane to demonstrate freedom of navigation in the area.

Beijing’s claims to offshore resources across most of the South China Sea are completely unlawful, Pompeo said.

The Secretary of State’s comments reflected a harsher tone over the sea path that sees around US$5 trillion of goods shipments annually.

Meanwhile, Beijing has said that Washington’s accusations of China bullying its neighbors are “completely unjustified”.

The Chinese Embassy in the United States said that the US is “stirring up tension and inciting confrontation in the region”.

In a statement published on its website, China said that the United States has continued to interfere with issues regarding the South China Sea, despite not being directly involved in the disputes.