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HomeAsiaVietnam, Indonesia wrap up talks on exclusive economic zones

Vietnam, Indonesia wrap up talks on exclusive economic zones

'Quick read' news summary

Vietnam and Indonesia have concluded negotiations on the boundaries of both countries’ exclusive economic zones (EEZ), a move praised by regional analysts but one likely to irk China.

“After 12 years of intensive negotiations, Indonesia and Vietnam have finally concluded negotiations on the EEZ boundaries of the two countries based on the 1982 UNCLOS,” said Indonesian President Joko Widodo after meeting with his visiting counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Thursday at the Bogor Presidential Palace in West Java.

UNCLOS is the abbreviation of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea – a document to which Vietnam, Indonesia and China are signatories.

Phuc is in Indonesia on his first state visit to the Southeast Asian neighbor since taking office in 2021.

Vietnam and Indonesia have been embroiled in disputes over overlapping EEZ claims in the waters surrounding the Natuna Islands in the South China Sea for years. 

Law enforcement agencies of the two countries have clashed over Vietnamese fishermen’s activities in the area, with Indonesia detaining and destroying dozens of Vietnamese boats accused of unlawful encroachment and illegal fishing.

The two countries agreed on a continental shelf, or seabed, limit in 2003 and since 2010, they have engaged in more than a dozen rounds of talks on EEZ delimitation. An EEZ gives a state exclusive access to the natural resources in the waters and in the seabed.

In 2021, Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi said in a statement that negotiating with Vietnam on EEZ borders in accordance with international law including UNCLOS

Vietnam and Indonesia have concluded negotiations on the boundaries of both countries’ exclusive economic zones (EEZ), a move praised by regional analysts but one likely to irk China. “After 12 years of intensive negotiations, Indonesia and Vietnam have finally concluded negotiations on the EEZ boundaries of the two countries based on the 1982 UNCLOS,” said Indonesian President Joko Widodo after meeting with his visiting counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Thursday at the Bogor Presidential Palace in West Java. UNCLOS is the abbreviation of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea – a document to which Vietnam, Indonesia and China are signatories.

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