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Indonesia's strategic balancing act
Southeast Asian states have so far avoided choosing sides in the growing US-China rivalry, seeking the benefits of good relations with both. But Indonesian analysts Yohanes Sulaiman, Mariane Delanova, and Rama Daru Jati argue the region’s biggest power will struggle to maintain the strategic middle ground.
The exorbitant price of Trump’s attempt to secure Indonesian recognition of Israel
In the final days of the Trump Administration, the US has offered to increase development spending to Indonesia in return for Jakarta recognising Israel. But, as regional analyst David Engel writes, the incoming Biden Administration can learn lessons from such a transactional offer. With Indonesia asked to abandon its longstanding principles, such a proposal is politically inept and will likely end in failure.
How the Biden administration should manage US–Indonesia relations
Of all the countries that the new US administration might wish to nudge its way as it tackles the implications of Beijing’s power and ambitions, very few matter more strategically than Indonesia. Yet, as David Engel of ASPI writes, such are the obstacles to achieving this in the prevailing circumstances that Joe Biden should think twice about trying.
Australia’s A$1.5 billion COVID-related loan to Indonesia
The Australian Government has unexpectedly announced that Australia will make a $ 1.5 billion COVID-related support loan to Indonesia. Australia’s assistance program to Indonesia has lagged somewhat in recent years. Indeed, the fall in support to Indonesia had begun to attract comment. But in one stroke, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s announcement late last week significantly strengthened Australia’s economic diplomacy in Southeast Asia, writes Peter McCawley.
Why Jakarta is Wary Over the Quad and Why Some Hope for a Trump Victory
As US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo travels to Jakarta this week in the hope of deepening ties with Southeast Asia’s strategically most important nation, strategic analyst Yohanes Sulaiman argues he is likely to receive a cautious response to any suggestion Indonesia join efforts to constrain a rising China.