Tanjungpinang, Riau Islands (ANTARA) – The Foreign Affairs Ministry and Raja Ali Haji Maritime University (UMRAH) of Tanjungpinang city, Riau Islands, have agreed to collaborateto establish the South China Sea and the North Natuna Sea Study Centers.The establishment of the two study centers is aimed at optimizing the study and development of foreign policy strategies regarding the South China Sea, head of the ministry’s Foreign Policy Strategy Agency (BSKLN), Yayan G.H. Mulayana, informed at the UMRAH campus on Monday. The cooperation between the ministry and UMRAH has been the right step considering that Tanjungpinang, where UMRAH is located, is near the South China Sea, he added. “The memorandum of understanding (MoU) is expected to (allow) BSKLN and UMRAH to support each other in conducting joint research, especially related to developing issues in the South China Sea,” he said in the discussion themed “Management of Potential Conflicts in the South China Sea”. The cooperation signing was carried out on the sidelines of a discussion that featured three speakers–I Made Andi Arsana from Gadjah Mada University, Irman Gusman from Padjadjaran University (Unpad), and Sayed Fauzan from UMRAH. The discussion’s results said that the conduct of workshops is still relevant for managing potential conflicts in the South China Sea. However, the panelists saw the need for more practical and beneficial cooperation, such as utilizing the South China Sea for developing the blue economy and the fisheries sector. The speakers also agreed that there is a need for wider exposure or the promotion of the workshops to gain support from public diplomacy stakeholders. They expressed the hope that the results of the workshops would be forwarded to a higher level. “There needs to be a conflict resolution mechanism in the future for a region that is filled with competition between the US and China, and toward potential hotspots in the Indo-Pacific, especially in the South China Sea, Taiwan Strait, and the Indian Ocean,” Mulayana said.
Source: Antara News Agency