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The 29th Workshop on Managing Potential Conflicts in the South China Sea

Batam, Indonesia 11-12 September 2019

The Workshop on Managing Potential Conflicts in the South China Sea was established in 1990 to explore functional cooperation among China, Chinese Taipei and ASEAN due to the issues that were gathering friction in the South China Sea. The idea was to develop functional cooperation areas into activities to build trust and thereafter creating building blocks to manage potential conflicts in the South China Sea. The aim of this Workshop therefore predates the aim of the 2002 Declaration of Conduct of Parties (DOC) and is the only fora in the region which includes Chinese Taipei. The Workshop is funded by China, Chinese Taipei and Vietnam.

The 29th series of the Workshop was held in Batam, preceded by a Welcoming Dinner on the 10th September 2019, hosted by the Acting Governor of Batam, Mr Isdianto. He took to the stage to place the Tengkolok or the traditional malay head gear on Heads of Delegations.

 https://suarasiber.com/2019/09/isdianto-ke-investor-sepulang-dari-sini-beri-kabar-baik/

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Fig 1: The Acting Governor placing a Tengkolok on Capt. Martin

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Fig 2: Heads of Delegations with the Acting Governor and their Tengkolok

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Fig 3: Group Photo of the Organisers and Delegates

On the 11th of September, the Workshop commenced with the Keynote Address from the Acting Governor, read by Ir Lamidi, Head of the Agency for National Unity and Politics of the Riau Isands, followed by the Welcoming Remarks by Dr Siswo Prabowo, Director General/Head of Policy and Analysis and Development Agency, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Indonesia.

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Fig 4: Dr Siswo Prabowo delivering the Welcoming Remarks

The Workshop was attended by 54 participants from China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Chinese Taipei, Vietnam and The Philippines.  Capt. Martin reported on the 6th Regional Maritime Workshop – Mass Rescue Operations, which was conducted from 9th to 11th April 2019. This workshop is the 6th in the series of Workshops run by Malaysia from funding by the 28th Workshop on Managing Potential Conflicts in the South China Sea.

 http://www.mima.gov.my/news-list/346-6th-regional-maritime-workshop

Several other functional cooperation activities were reported. One was by the delegation from China, Training on Ocean Governance and Marine Information Technology. This training was attended by a number of Malaysians.

http://www.mima.gov.my/news-list/359-training-course-on-marine-information-technology-and-ocean-governance

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Fig 5:  Chair from Indonesia addressing the Workshop

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Fig 6: Ir Lamidi and Capt.Martin

Capt. Martin proposal for the 7th Regional Maritime Workshop in 2020 – Addressing the Maritime Drug Trade was approved by the participants. This Workshop is being planned on the 9th -10th of April 2020. Details of the Workshop will be informed accordingly.

The 29th Workshop on Managing Potential Conflicts in the South China Sea concluded with a visit to the industrial park followed by Mangrove planting.  

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