News Indonesia - US - China Relation, and ASEAN. Whats going on?

Gundala

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There are some misunderstanding about how we interpreting the news these days regarding Indonesia-US-China relations, and the main stream media isnt helping at all with their own agenda or commercial intention. I am going to try highliting some news so we can have a fair view on whats really going on. Again I am simply presenting my point of view, whether you agree or not is up to you. There is a quote saying "A fool follow public oppinion, a wise man made his own decission".


The title SCS Defence migh be misleading or can be interpreted differently. Indonesia agree for freedom of navigaion in SCS but I dont see anything regarding committing to "defence". Below is the orginal press confrence. You might want to wear headset/earset, the talk happen in 1:06:31


Keypoints are: continuing dialogue of 2015 Indonesia-US Strategic Partnership, Indonesia as ASEAN representative in ASEAN-US relation, US is important partnership to Indonesia & ASEAN, Indonesia is the largest democracy and economic in ASEAN is important assets to US engagement in area, Indonesia asking support for next year G20 Presidency. The rest is economic, covid, education, etc cooperation.

The bold wording is a sign where Indonesia position themself. I personally dont hear any South China Sea in both statement. Strategic Partnership itself has only been a paper framework since 2015 and now they are trying to make it "alive". Why now? We know that US Sec.of Def recently been "touring" to ASEAN countries (Singapore, Vietnam, Philipine) to do some diplomacy in an effort to gain support & influence. They seems to have decided to reduce their presence in middle east and focus in Asia to counter China influence. ASEAN play a key role here strategically, geopollitically and economically. Here is why


I quote;
For starters, China and ASEAN became each other's largest trading partner. In 2020, ASEAN surpassed the EU and became China's top trading partner for the first time...
In 2019 when ASEAN was the second largest trading partner of China, bilateral trade stood at 4.43 trillion yuan ($684.9 billion), while trade between ASEAN and the US totaled at $294.6 billion

China economic approach is welcome for ASEAN as their member is prioritizing in their economic development. So how about SCS and their dispute? From my perspective they might let it slight for now in favor for economic relation while also trying to arm themself in the process. Vietnam whos happened to be most vocal about China intrution is now more inline with other ASEAN members. US security approach diplomacy then starting to lose its footing in this case.


With huge numbers of trade value between ASEAN & China looks like they are trying to enhance it in ASEAN China free trade agreement (ACFTA) and hastening the ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), in order to create a new driving force for growth.

How about Europe?


Pretty much the same with ASEAN, focusing more on trade/economic relation and currently reluctant to take side. Biden recent EU tour has try to convince NATO members for support. But no luck so far. I suggest to read the article below


For now US hasnt gotten support they wanted to challenge China influence globally & regionally. Indonesia should place herself carefully and keep pushing ASEAN members to be all in the same line to counter both the Giants moves. Economic relation of ASEAN members with China is huge, the population of ASEAN+China are large enough to create huge market for them to grow. ASEAN country cant afford tension let alone open war in the region, most of them are developing countries trying to fight poverty and grow their economy. US military/security approach to the region isnt suitable for them, they better bring things with more economic value to the table.

On the other hand China and US trade value has increased in 2021 despite the tariff & trade sanction war between them. That is one fact that both of them are economically dependent in a way. And I am pretty sure both country aware that to lose those numbers will bring huge effect to their own economy. Check out the table below for 2020-2021.


China aggresive move in South China Sea disturbing, but also US move to raise tension in the region. So lets be pragmatic and see the issue thru our national interest. Geopolitic play different game, cool head is needed to see the bigger picture. Indonesia and ASEAN have huge leverage to deal with both China & US to their own advantage. The question is whether ASEAN know this and able to take advantage over it? It remain to be seen.

This is the important time to build up military capability for the above reasons and not the time to slacking off. Si vis pacem para bellum.
 

Madokafc

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What they said in press release is for public consumption, what they are actually talked is i am afraid you need to living a long time tough, until some memo/notes can be released for public. You should just remember, if it is only for vaccine or Covid19 help, the Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affair herself already getting a lot of vcall from many foreign friends and they can sent representative of our and the help already arrived without herself needed to embracing a journey to the partner Capital. Err and talking a lot with our friends from US National Security Council (the American version of LEMHANAS)

 

Gundala

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What they said in press release is for public consumption, what they are actually talked is i am afraid you need to living a long time tough, until some memo/notes can be released for public. You should just remember, if it is only for vaccine or Covid19 help, the Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affair herself already getting a lot of vcall from many foreign friends and they can sent representative of our and the help already arrived without herself needed to embracing a journey to the partner Capital. Err and talking a lot with our friends from US National Security Council (the American version of LEMHANAS)

Agree, what they say its for public consumption but press conference are also being used to send a messege to others as well. We prolly wont know the detail of what they talking about or with whom bu Retno is talking to but I surely hope US will get the massage that the region currently need more economic approach then security approach and act according to the region need. We need US to step up their game, their influence is diminishing and we dont want that to continue to happen. Never mind what their NSC said, NSC is there to support and protect their own interest and for now their national interest is not allign with the region.

In today condition if Hypothetically US to let ASEAN to choose between P8 Poseidon or direct investment that can create jobs and have good impact to economy I am pretty sure most ASEAN country will choose direct investment.

US donate vaccine and others stuff where China giving some vaccine, selling it as well but also making Indonesia a hub for vaccine distribution which create job and add economic value. Another solid reason why I said US need to step up their game.

Now the study bellow is giving advice on how US should be doing and I quote "Going forward, the Biden administration may want to focus on assistance that would benefit Indonesia itself, not just the United States in its contest versus China" It also telling us a story how Ibu Retno got so upset on the last Video Conference ASEAN did with US Sec of State.



Edit: Spelling
 
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NEKO

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until some memo/notes can be released for public.
Mostly from US side.

In terms of security, military cooperation, and weapons purchase I prefer that we are dealing with US, while in economy and investment US still can't beat China in Indonesia, we just need to balance things out somehow.

On the surface we are getting closer towards the US, so many military exercise with US recently, and compare that with exercise with China which is rare, it shows that we trust US more than China.
 

Umigami

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Maybe unrelated, but for me it was so weird for a president to talk about something that "remeh" in a CIA headquarter.
 

Gundala

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Maybe unrelated, but for me it was so weird for a president to talk about something that "remeh" in a CIA headquarter.
Yea, I feel the same way. Surprising example if I may say.
 

schuimpjes

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For now US hasnt gotten support they wanted to challenge China influence globally & regionally. Indonesia should place herself carefully and keep pushing ASEAN members to be all in the same line to counter both the Giants moves. Economic relation of ASEAN members with China is huge, the population of ASEAN+China are large enough to create huge market for them to grow. ASEAN country cant afford tension let alone open war in the region, most of them are developing countries trying to fight poverty and grow their economy. US military/security approach to the region isnt suitable for them, they better bring things with more economic value to the table.
In terms of security, military cooperation, and weapons purchase I prefer that we are dealing with US, while in economy and investment US still can't beat China in Indonesia, we just need to balance things out somehow.
Chinese economic influences are too strong to just be discarded from international trade. They just too big. The risk if we just left China economically would also give the blowbacks to us. How much Indonesian would loss their jobs if we stop our trade and stop any investments China put in our country?. How much GDP would decrease?

My opinion, we should beat China economically. Increase the number of Investments, more technically, bring companies to put their factories here, create jobs for our big populations. Hopefully, we can beat China economically and give us amunisi to bargain. And we also have to drive our ASEAN friend to have the same spirit as us, and make ASEAN as its own economic bloc to beat China. In ASEAN, We Strong !!!
 

Gundala

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in terms of security, military cooperation, and weapons purchase I prefer that we are dealing with US, while in economy and investment US still can't beat China in Indonesia, we just need to balance things out somehow.
Yup but US need to adjust their diplomacy act as well. Giving waiver for CAATSA is a good start for example. I can understand if they threaten to give sanction for SU35 purchase, but it would a nice gesture of friendship if they let small things like Sukhoi spare parts, BMP purchase or other "small" purchase gets thru officially.
On the surface we are getting closer towards the US, so many military exercise with US recently, and compare that with exercise with China which is rare, it shows that we trust US more than China.
Its not about trust, its about national interest. That Garuda Shield exercise with US is huge from diplomacy perspective. It sends bold and clear massage to China on how we going to react if they keep pursuing their interest in North Natuna Sea. But again US cant be doing it while threatening Indonesia with CAATSA, Indonesia military growth is important for both side and to expect our military to convert all their assets to their standard in short period of time is just impossible. Unless they giving it way for free or with a huge bargain deal. I am sure we all going to be dancing in happiness, specially our Marine which in dire need for amphibious stuff 😁
 

NEKO

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My opinion, we should beat China economically. Increase the number of Investments, more technically, bring companies to put their factories here, create jobs for our big populations. Hopefully, we can beat China economically and give us amunisi to bargain. And we also have to drive our ASEAN friend to have the same spirit as us, and make ASEAN as its own economic bloc to beat China. In ASEAN, We Strong !!!
Humu humu... thats a very tall order. But i agree to increase our economy and strengthen our industries, their market is big and it is a waste if we don't tap into that, but of course with everything that is happening I prefer that we are dealing with them in a standard and normal way, not relying too much, otherwise we will taste what AU have been enjoying recently.
 

schuimpjes

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Humu humu... thats a very tall order. But i agree to increase our economy and strengthen our industries, their market is big and it is a waste if we don't tap into that, but of course with everything that is happening I prefer that we are dealing with them in a standard and normal way, not relying too much, otherwise we will taste what AU have been enjoying recently.
Optimism is a must for us as a country, at least at first wkwk.

Who thought that China who had famines and who used communistic style centralized economy before, that semua produksi harus BUMN dengan dalih gak boleh ada apa yang mereka sebut sebagai bourgeoisie (pemodal), manusia yang memeras manusia lain or whatever they name it lah. Efeknya apa? Gak ada investments swasta apa-apa masuk China, artinya pabrik dikit, yang imbasnya pekerjaan dikit, gak ada/sedikit kompetisi yang mbuat inovasi, can be nowadays China?

Thanks to optimism of Deng Xiaoping, Hu Yaobang, Zhao Ziyang and other like minded.

Salam Chinese US made S-70.
 

Gundala

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Not related. But the fact they don't even mentioned us is a good thing.
Well I am guessing this policy is basically aiming more toward domestic political consumption for being Democrat party. It can also be a "payback" toward certain local lobby group as their support toward the last election.

It said ..."have emphasizing more toward smaller weapon such as riffles & surveillance equipemant. While sales of air defence systems & naval systems could be slowed although they likely would still go ahead. In some cases it will add extra layer to getting to yes..."

One picture/video showing US made riffles use by certain country police/para military officers killing "civillian" can create political nightmare for their govt. Thats unlikely the case for lets say maverick mishit the civilian area.

US arms industry is huge and important for their economic & strategic interest. They would be shooting themself on the foot if they are trying to somehow reduced their own capability to sell arms.

Oh btw speaking or arms export, lets have a fun fact. I say "Indonesia is the 2nd largest arms exporter to Phillipines". Hard to believe? lets see 2021 SIPRI table below 😁 😁

Sipri Fact Sheet 2021_Small.jpg
 

Umigami

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Betting on US is betting on a losing side in the future, US declines fast in all fronts, see what they are doing in Afghanistan now. Withdrawing from everywhere is becoming a norm for US due to its fast waning power and economy.
they are focusing on somewhere else
 

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