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Dancing with ‘A Million Friends, Zero Enemies ’: Indonesia , China and the US - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Dr Priyambudi Sulistiyanto Flinders Asia Centre Flinders University Adelaide-Australia 26 October 2012. Dancing with ‘A Million Friends, Zero Enemies ’: Indonesia , China and the US. Aims. To map out security and foreign policy outlooks in Indonesia under the Yudhoyono administration.

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Dr Priyambudi Sulistiyanto

Flinders Asia Centre

Flinders University


26 October 2012

Dancing with ‘A Million Friends, Zero Enemies’: Indonesia, China and the US


  • To map out security and foreign policy outlooks in Indonesia under the Yudhoyono administration.

  • To examine the relationship between Indonesia and China and between Indonesia and the US.

  • To critically assess the strategic role played Indonesia in dealing with the rivalry between China and the US with special reference to the South Chian Sea disputes.


  • How has Indonesia positioned herself in the context of the intense rivalry between China and the US in the Asian region?

  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the Indonesian position?

Scholars on southeast asia us and china
Scholars on Southeast Asia, US and China

  • Decline of the US supremacy in Asia.

  • Rise of China as a new superpower.

  • Southeast Asia as a subject of global rivalry

  • ASEAN as the custodian of the region.

  • Indonesian democracy and Islam.

  • Indonesia as a mediator?

    Sources: Weatherbee (2005); Kin Wah (2005); Goh and Simon (2008); Novotny (2010); Thayer (2010)

Indonesian security and foreign policy principal actors
Indonesian security and foreign policy principal actors

  • Inner circle: Presidential Office (SBY and advisers), Defence Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro and Foreign Affairs Minister Marty Natalegawa

  • Commission 1 (defence and foreign affairs) in Parliament.

  • Political parties.

  • Think tanks and academics.

  • Media

  • Civil society

Sby and indonesia s dynamic equilibrium mantra
SBY and Indonesia’s dynamic equilibrium mantra

  • SBY on dynamic equilibrium (quoted from his speech given at the Shangri-la Dialogue, Singapore, 1 June 2012):

    • “it consists of at least two major challenges: first, ensuring that the state relations among the major powers will remain peaceful, stable and cooperative well in the long run”.

    • “The rise of emerging powers should be seen as a positive development: they can provide valuable assets for spreading peace and prosperity”.

    • “Asia is certainly big enough for all powers-established and emerging-and there is always room for new stakeholders, so long as they invest in common peace and progress”.

    • “Both the US and China have an obligation not just to themselves, but to the rest of the region to develop peaceful cooperation”.

    • Middle and smaller powers too can help lock the major powers into this durable architecture, through a variety of instruments”.

Indonesia us relations
Indonesia-US relations

  • Democratic club.

  • Economic cooperation.

  • Human rights.

  • Education.

  • Military cooperation.

  • SBY-Obama’s Comprehensive Partnership (2011).

  • “The two presidents reaffirmed their commitment to advancing the US-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership as a dynamic and enduring partnership that contributes to the security and prosperity of both countries. They also committed to work together to find solutions to strengthen international peace and cooperation in light of ongoing global economic conditions, political transitions, and other transnational challenges” (Quoted from a Joint Statement by President SBY and President Barack Obama

  • Sources: Denmark (2010); Murphy (2009); Marciel (2009)

Indonesia china relations
Indonesia-China relations

  • From suspicious to cooperation.

  • Economic opportunities.

  • Security dialogues.

  • Strategic partnership.

  • Sharing history and responsibility

  • “Half a century ago, China, Indonesia and many other newly independent Asian countries came onto the international political stage, announcing the birth of an new Asia. Today, we are witnessing the all-round rise of Asia and a great rejuvenation of the Oriental Civilization. The dream of our forefathers for a thriving Asia is coming true in our time. And China and Indonesia are important force driving in this epoch-making change” (Quoted from Premier Wen Jiabao’s speech in Jakarta, 5 January 2011).

  • Sources: Guoxing and Soesastro (1992); Sukma (1999, 2009); Mishra and Sari (2010); and Chandra and Lontoh (2011)

Indonesia and south china sea
Indonesia and South China Sea

  • SBY on South China Sea (quoted from Shangri-la Dialouge in Singapore, 1 June 2012):

    • “A win-win approach is not easy”.

    • “We can accept that the overlapping territorial and jurisdictional claims are still a long way from being resolved. However, even without waiting for resolution over territorial disputes, we can still find ways to transform the potential conflicts in the South China Sea into potential cooperation”.

    • “It took ten years-ten long years-for the Guidelines of the Declaration of Conduct in the South China Sea to be completed. It should not take another ten years for the ASEAN-China Working Group to complete the Code of Conduct; we expect them to move on speedily with their task”.

Concluding remarks
Concluding remarks

  • Indonesia is not a claimer.

  • Indonesia as a regional mediator? Not sure because has no ‘successful’ records in the past.

  • Indonesia has enough domestic (security) issues to cop with.

  • Indonesia will use ASEAN as a forum to deal with South China Sea disputes.

  • Indonesia has its own interests to be friend with both China and the US.

Thank you terima kasih
Thank you / Terimakasih