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China offers help in securing Malacca Strait, Indonesian defense minister says

China is offering to help secure the Malacca Strait, Indonesia said Tuesday, adding to a list of countries anxious to make the strategic waterway safer. Much of the world’s oil and a quarter of its sea-borne goods pass through the strait each year. But it is infested with pirates, and some countries have expressed fears that Muslim terrorists may try to launch an attack there. Indonesia’s defense minister Juwono Sudarsono said “there was a plan from China to add to security in the strait.” He gave no more details on the offer, but reiterated Indonesia’s position that foreign troops were not welcome in the waterway. “All countries whose supply of oil depends on the Malacca strait, like China, Japan and Korea, have an interest in securing it,” Sudarsono told reporters in Jakarta. “But we only want technical assistance.” Indonesia and Malaysia have already rejected a U.S. offer of troops. Full Story

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