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looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

Archive for the tag “Indonesia”

Indonesia’s Democracy Is Becoming More Conservative

The world’s fourth most populous country is a pluralist, multiparty democracy that officially extends civic and religious freedoms to everyone living across a staggeringly diverse archipelago. But by the time anyone even showed up at the polls, both the structure of this young political system and Jokowi’s turns toward the religious right meant that many issues were already decided.

Read Here – The Atlantic

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Millennials Will Decide Who Runs Indonesia’s Four Trillion-Dollar Economy

Indonesia’s presidential election is a fight over which candidate has the vision to turn the country into an elite global economic power. And this time millennials and the middle class will hold a decisive vote. The winner of the April 17 poll—which also includes legislative elections—will play a pivotal role in ensuring whether Indonesia reaches its potential to become the world’s fourth-largest economy by 2030.

Read Here – Bloomberg

ASEAN’s Torn Over China-US Struggle. Will Mahathir Lead The Way?

The Singapore meeting starting Monday – the second Asean summit this year – will be Mahathir’s first since he stunned Asia by defeating his protégé Najib Razak in May elections to reoccupy the political hot seat he held from 1981 to 2003. Diplomatic observers are hoping the firebrand nonagenarian, a self-professed regionalist, will inject some vigour into the bloc…And with Asean nations facing rising pressure to take sides in the escalating US-China rivalry, some insiders in the grouping are hoping for lessons from the elder statesman on how to balance the two powers without being dragged into their respective orbits.

Read Here – South China Morning Post

Singapore’s ASEAN Chairmanship: High Expectations For A High Achiever

Singapore skyline at night/Photo by Lily Ivnatikk on Unsplash

 

Singapore, this year’s ASEAN chair, faces some tough tasks. It must lift confidence in the organisation and inject the inspiration it needs to overcome a ‘midlife crisis’ while encouraging favourable conditions for continued economic growth. And it must do this in a time of geopolitical turbulence while trying to balance relations with the great powers. If anyone in the region can handle such pressure, it’s Singapore.

Read Here – The Strategist

The Next 50 Years Of ASEAN

Coming full circle on its 50th anniversary, ASEAN is now caught in a regional strategic environment similar to one that existed at its founding, defined by volatility, hostility, and superpower rivalry that pose a serious existential threat to the organization. Can ASEAN maintain its autonomy and reputation as a credible and cohesive unit capable of regional resilience in the 21st century?

Read Here – The Diplomat

China’s Railway Diplomacy Hits The Buffers

When Li Keqiang, China’s premier, took 16 European leaders on a high-speed train ride in 2015, the trip revealed more than an enthusiasm for rolling stock. It was also Beijing’s big sell for an engineering technology that it hoped would spearhead the launch of a grand geo-strategic ambition.

Read Here – Financial Times

Why 1997 Was Asia’s Perfect Storm

From Hong Kong to Cambodia and Thailand to Indonesia and across to the Philippines, governments are this week marking the political convulsions and financial turmoil that swept the region 20 years ago, and reshaped its destiny forever.

Read Here – The Diplomat

50 Years Of ASEAN: ‘A’ Is For Angst

ASEAN is ever beset by existential angst. The ‘A’ in ASEAN stands for Angst as well as Association. Regard this as more description than criticism. The Angst-Association of South East Asian Nations always has lots to worry about. Angst and anxiety are rational responses. The questions are constant: can the association hold together? Can it actually do anything? Will ASEAN be crushed as it’s courted by the bigger beasts of Asia? Celebrating its 50th birthday in August, ASEAN pumps out celebration.

Read Here – The Strategist

Saudis Thinking Beyond Oil In Asia Courtship

China’s role and influence in global markets is a big lure to Saudi Arabia. It is the world’s largest energy consumer and the second-biggest importer of crude, after the U.S. Just like the Japanese, China is driven by its need to secure sources of energy. That gives Saudi Arabia an opportunity to solidify its market presence in Asia amid rising competition from Russia.

Read Here – Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia Is Redefining Islam For The World’s Largest Muslim Nation

Since 1980, Saudi Arabia has devoted millions of dollars to exporting its strict brand of Islam, Salafism, to historically tolerant and diverse Indonesia. It has built more than 150 mosques (albeit in a country that has about 800,000), a huge free university in Jakarta, and several Arabic language institutes; supplied more than 100 boarding schools with books and teachers; brought in preachers and teachers; and disbursed thousands of scholarships for graduate study in Saudi Arabia. All this adds up to a deep network of Saudi influence.

Read Here – The Atlantic

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