Indian sub docks in Indonesia amid South China Sea tensions with Beijing

New Delhi: Indian Navy’s submarine INS Sindhukesari docked in Jakarta in Indonesia from February 22-24, in a strategic port call that comes amid heightened tensions between the ASEAN nation and China over the South China Sea.

In a tweet, the Indian Navy said the personnel on board INS Sindhukesari had “highly enriching engagements” with their Indonesian counterparts during the port call aimed at a safer and secure Indo-Pacific.

“#IndianNavy’s submarine #INSSindhukesari visited #Jakarta, Indonesia 22 – 24 Feb 23.

“Highly enriching engagements with @_TNIAL_ conducted during port call, strengthening #maritime partnership between #India & #Indonesia towards safer & secure #IndoPacific.”

The Indonesian Navy in a tweet said “Strengthening Bilateral Relations, Indonesian Navy Warmly Welcomes the Arrival of the Indian Submarine INS Shindukesari in Jakarta”.

In a press statement, the Indonesian Navy (Tentara Nasional Indonesia Angkatan Laut) said: “In order to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries, the Navy in this case Lantamal III Jakarta provided support in the form of security and facilities for the Indian Submarine INS Shindukesari foreign ship at JITC II Pier, Tanjung Priok Port, North Jakarta Wednesday.

“The arrival of the Indian submarine INS Shindukesari with the ship commander Commander Libu Raj was warmly welcomed in a military ceremony,” it said.

According to reports, INS Sindhukesari has become the first Indian submarine to dock in Indonesia.

The Indian Kilo class submarine made its way to the Indonesian capital after traversing through the nearby Sunda Strait – the strait between the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra; It connects the Java Sea with the Indian Ocean.

The docking of the Indian submarine comes as ASEAN chair Indonesia has told China that it wants an “actionable code of conduct” on the South China Sea.

Chinese Foreign Affairs Minister Qin Gang on Wednesday made his first overseas visit to Jakarta since taking office in end-2022. Indonesia took this opportunity to bring China’s attention to the code of conduct, also known as the CoC, which is expected to manage the tensions in the South China Sea, according to a media report.

“After a delay due to the Covid-19, we will resume the CoC negotiations, and also intensify the talks in person,” Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi said at a joint presser with her Chinese counterpart in Jakarta on Wednesday.

“Indonesia and ASEAN wish to produce an effective, substantive, and actionable CoC,” Retno said.


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