Image: DON EMMERT / AFP

"This is OUR North Natuna," the minister said.

Petra Hapsari   18 July 2017 19:30

China has been criticizing Indonesia’s decision in changing the name of South China Sea into Natuna Utara or North Natuna Sea for a few days.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang stated the change of name does not make sense.

“And [it] is not conductive to the effort of the international standardization of the name of places,” Geng said.

Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti then questioned why we cannot name it North Natuna Sea especially that it is still in Indonesian territory.

“Well, the sea that is in our territory is North Natuna Sea, not South China Sea. That is North Natuna,” Susi said on Tuesday.

Susi emphasized that Indonesia has the right to name its own sea.

“This is OUR North Natuna,” Susi said.

The name changing of South China Sea into North Natuna Sea can be seen in the new Indonesian map released by Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs last week.

Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan confirmed that the changing of the name on the map only occurs to the sea that is still in the state’s sovereignty and it does not affect other countries’ territory.

“The change in our map is still in our territory, it does not touch South China, still in zone 200 km, that is still our region,” Luhut said.

Indonesia's not the only one China's having a problem with regarding the sea.

China brought Philippine to International Court in Den Hague back in 2016 after they allegedly changed the name of South China Sea into West Philippine Sea.

In July 2016, the court decided that China is not authorized to intervene Philippine’s decision in naming its maritime territory.

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