Author Topic: Indonesian calculations towards Chinese aggression  (Read 2162 times)

adroth

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Indonesian calculations towards Chinese aggression
« on: November 19, 2018, 07:12:39 AM »
This section was quoted from the "Kobayashi Maru" thesis

See also: Indonesian policy if sinking seized fishing vessels

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Indonesian calculations

Another country with which Philippine policies have been compared -- unfavorably -- is Indonesia. In contrast to Duterte’s strategy of conciliatory engagement, Indonesia’s Joko Widodo has opted for a open resistance, punctuated by a cabinet meeting off the Natuna islands. It was a clear, public, rebuff of Chinese claims to the Indonesian portion of the South China Sea.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo stands on the deck of the Indonesian Navy ship KRI Imam Bonjol after chairing a limited cabinet meeting in the waters of Natuna Islands, Riau Islands province, Indonesia June 23, 2016 in this photo provided by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Setpres - Krishadiyanto/ via REUTERS



While the geopolitical position that Indonesia carved for itself appears appealing at first glance, the nature of that position must be thoroughly understood before it is replicated. Despite the obvious nationalistic appeal of a President sailing into waters that China claims as it own, it is critical to understand the Indonesian calculation that made this display worth-the-risk. Without that understanding, mounting a Philippine equivalent to this exercise would be putting the cart before the horse.

Arguably, central to that calculation is the fact that Indonesia is the largest economy in South East Asia. Even China felt the sting of that power in 2014 when Indonesia adopted a nationalist export policy that forbade the export of raw mineral ore. This act, -- designed to stimulate development of in-country ore processing capability -- had a detrimental effect on a Chinese economy that was heavily dependent on Indonesian Nickel imports. Nickel is used to make stainless steel, and China sourced half of its Nickel requirements from Indonesia.

Coupled to this economic engine is a significant conventional-warfare-capable military that was well suited for projecting power over its maritime approaches. The Indonesian submarine force, for example, is the oldest organization of its type in South East Asia, and is an advantage that the Indonesian Navy is keen to maintain.

The Indonesian Navy's first Type 209/1400 submarine, pictured at its launching ceremony on 24 March in Okpo. Source: DSME

A vibrant domestic military shipbuilding industry not only supplies Jakarta’s navy with ships ranging from missile armed frigates to amphibious assault ships, but also caters to the demands of the export market, to include the Philippine Navy.

C/o Agus Utomo at the forum's FB extension: https://www.facebook.com/groups/rpdefense/permalink/1300572960028548/



The Indonesian Air Force, for its part, retains a potent mix if Western and Russian fighter aircraft that form the cutting edge of a force that is thoroughly modern, sophisticated, and is also embargo proof. If one block of suppliers withholds logistical support, the other block benefits from the shift in focus.


A pilot from the USAF’s 514th Flight Test Squadron makes a high-speed pass in an Indonesian F-16C Fighting Falcon during a functional check flight in November, at Hill Air Force Base in Utah. The jet is the last of 24 F-16s to be delivered to the Indonesian Air Force as part of an acquisition agreement approved by the US government. (US Air Force)

The third variable in this equation, one that puts the first two in the proper perspective is the nature of China's claims against Indonesia. China has already publicly announced that it recognizes Indonesian sovereignty over the Natuna islands — which is on the outer edge of China’s tongue-shaped 9-dashed line claim. The sole point of contention is Beijing’s insistence in the existence of overlapping claims betweens the ill-defined 9-dashed line and Indonesia’s EEZ. A claim that Jakarta has definitively rejected.



The two earlier advantages, combined with the fact that China -- as of writing -- is not on the verge of occupying any particular Indonesian island or atoll, gives Indonesia the geopolitical flexibility that both the Philippines and Vietnam lack.

The gravity of Sino-Indo tensions is arguably nowhere near as tense as those between China, Vietnam, and the Philippines. The Indonesian Foreign Ministry has defined their China-problem as merely a law enforcement matter. Given the Natuna islands’ location relative to the Philippine and Vietnamese claims, it is easy to understand why Indonesia would not expect to be as high on China’s priority list as either Manila or Hanoi.

However, despite its relatively strong defensive position towards China, Indonesia still recognizes the value of engagement with China. In the wake of the Nickel ban meant to stimulate domestic industries, Chinese companies actually answered the call to build the facilities to achieve the Indonesian government’s ends. Indonesia is also poised to enter into “Silk Road” initiative projects with China worth $23.3B.

Unlike Philippine nationalists, Indonesia understands that China is not merely a phenomenon that will disappear when ignored. It is here to stay. As Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Panjaitan explained:

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"We must be smart (as) all (countries are eying opportunities). It is a matter of being smart to eye opportunities to derive more benefits," he pointed out.

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« Last Edit: May 14, 2019, 11:32:12 PM by adroth »

adroth

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Re: Indonesian calculations towards Chinese aggression
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2018, 03:13:09 PM »
Revisiting Indonesian calculations



As already stated earlier in this thesis, Indonesia was also mindful of the opportunities that continued relations with China would provide. 

Indonesia, China sign US$23.3 billion cooperation contracts under Belt and Road
Reporter: Suharto 
14th April 2018

https://en.antaranews.com/news/115354/indonesia-china-sign-us233-billion-cooperation-contracts-under-belt-and-road

Jakarta, (ANTARA News) - Indonesia and China have signed five cooperation contracts worth US$23.3 billion under the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiatives.

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"We want to see continued cooperation not only between the governments but also investors of the two countries," Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Panjaitan noted in a press statement released on Friday.

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As the Indonesian president`s special envoy to establish strategic cooperation with China, Panjaitan highlighted the importance of encouraging business relations between both nations in line with the national interests.

"We must be smart (as) all (countries are eying opportunities). It is a matter of being smart to eye opportunities to derive more benefits," he pointed out.

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In the Philippines, Duterte's critics have seized upon his public inclination to avail of these Chinese loans as further evidence of Duterte's intention to "sell out" to China. They point to Sri Lanka, Laos, the Maldives, and a host of African countries as cautionary tales about the dangers of availing of Chinese assistance in pursuit of projects related the Belt and Road Initiative. Going so far as to equate dialogue with China with either treason or disaster.

These same critics, however, are either oblivious -- or have chosen to ignore . . .

. . . Pakistan's pursuit of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, at the risk of economic ruin, on the calculation that China could not afford to allow it go bankrupt

. . . how Israel is parlaying access to Israeli tech, and participation in the BRI c/o of the Port of Haifa, to find common ground with its erstwhile enemies in the Arab world, with China as mediator . . .


. . . how Indonesia has its railway projects and its economic engagements with China.


The Philippines must make its own calculations. Today, such assessments come in the form of the 4th option.

adroth

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Re: Indonesian calculations towards Chinese aggression
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2020, 04:09:53 AM »
China also has this at stake when it comes to dealing with Indonesia

https://archpaper.com/2019/11/chinas-belt-and-road-initiative/




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By Gunawan Kartapranata - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=43926417



adroth

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Re: Indonesian calculations towards Chinese aggression
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2020, 12:23:03 AM »
Folks who hail this development often don't understand the economic retaliation capability that Indonesia wields over China. Would China really risk Indonesia nationalizing the $6B railway project over their Natuna claims?

https://www.facebook.com/gmanews/photos/a.126333131976/10158259148646977/?type=3&theater&ifg=1

Nilisan na ng mga Chinese coast guard vessel at fishing boat ang disputed waters sa kanlurang bahagi ng South China Sea matapos ang pagbisita ni Indonesian President Joko Widodo doon para panindigan ang soberanya ng kaniyang bansa, ayon sa Indonesian military.



adroth

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Re: Indonesian calculations towards Chinese aggression
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2020, 11:39:06 AM »
In rare move, Indonesia raises Hague ruling vs China
The move provides an 'important building block' for Manila, which won the historic award against Beijing, says Asia maritime expert Greg Poling

Sofia Tomacruz
Published 1:04 PM, May 28, 2020
Updated 1:17 PM, May 28, 2020

https://www.rappler.com/world/regions/asia-pacific/262166-rare-move-indonesia-raises-hague-ruling-vs-china

MANILA, Philippines – The Indonesian government submitted a rare communication to the United Nations, raising the 2016 Hague ruling that rejects China’s 9-dash line seeking to claim ownership over virtually the entire South China Sea.

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Indonesia stated its position on the matter in a note verbale addressed to UN Secretary General António Guterres on May 26, where it opposed a series of circular notes filed by Being in relation to Malaysia’s application to define the limits of its extended continent shelf.

In particular, Indonesia cited China’s notes protesting Malaysia’s application itself, and later on, rejecting the Philippines’ and Vietnam’s positions on the matter.

Indonesia explicitly stated the 2016 Hague ruling the Philippine won against China confirmed the country’s position on maritime features and its entitlements – that "no maritime feature in the Spratly islands is entitled to an exclusive economic zone or a continental shelf of its own."

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