Aristyo Rizka Darmawan

Aristyo Rizka Darmawan

Lecturer in International Law, University of Indonesia

Aristyo Rizka Darmawan is a lecturer in International Law at the University of Indonesia and a member of the Young Leaders Programme at the Honolulu-based Pacific Forum Foreign Policy Research Institute. His research focuses on international law and foreign policy in the Asia Pacific.

Indonesia's new military chief General Andika Perkasa speaks to journalists during a press conference with retired Indonesia's military chief Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto, after a handover ceremony at the Indonesian Military Headquarters in Jakarta, Indonesia, 18 November 2021. (Willy Kurniawan/Reuters)

Indonesia’s maritime challenges are increasing. Can its new army chief rise to the occasion?

The newly-appointed commander of the Indonesian military, General Andika Perkasa, has an army background. However, his appointment comes at a time when Indonesia’s defence challenges fall largely in the maritime domain, including the presence of vessels from various countries in the waters around Indonesia, necessitating maritime enforcement. Indonesian academic Aristyo Rizka Darmawan notes that if the Indonesian military can shift focus towards the sea, it may be able to play a key role in Asia's maritime landscape.
Fishermen pull in their net along the coast of Banda Aceh on 1 August 2021. (Chaideer Mahyuddin/AFP)

Strong civilian presence needed to protect Indonesia's sovereignty in the North Natuna Sea

Indonesian academic Aristyo Rizka Darmawan notes the intrusions of Chinese vessels into Indonesia's Exclusive Economic Zone. He says to deter Chinese activities in the North Natuna Sea, Indonesia needs to complement its military assets in the area with a strong civilian presence.
An Indonesian Airforce's F-16 jet fighter flies over an Indonesian Navy warship during an operation in Natuna, near the South China Sea, Indonesia, 10 January 2020. (M Risyal Hidayat/Antara Foto via Reuters)

Indonesian academic: China’s recent foray into the North Natuna Sea is problematic

A Chinese survey ship was reported to be operating in Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone in the North Natuna Sea recently. This is not new, but this time the survey ship was reportedly accompanied by at least six Chinese naval vessels. Jakarta should consider a firm response to Beijing.
A dinghy (left) from Indonesia's National Search And Rescue Agency (BASARNAS) returns to their vessel after evacuating a Russian crew member from the Danish tanker Hulda Maersk (right) for medical reasons, at sea off the coast of Aceh on 27 April 2021. (Chaideer Mahyuddin/AFP)

Indonesia-US Maritime Training Centre: A sign of Indonesia's independent and active foreign policy

A new maritime training centre established by Indonesia and the US is emblematic of sustained bilateral cooperation in the maritime domain, and the ASEAN member state’s independent and active foreign policy.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi walk as they attend the ASEAN leaders' summit at the the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) secretariat building in Jakarta, Indonesia, 24 April 2021. (Muchlis Jr/Indonesian Presidential Palace/Handout via Reuters)

Is Indonesia's foreign policy tilting towards Beijing?

Indonesian academic Aristyo Rizka Darmawan looks at Indonesia's engagement with China in recent years and notes that Indonesia has adopted a foreign policy that is driven by economic interest and transactional considerations. Despite its increased engagement with China, Jakarta would need to upkeep its relationships with other regional powers for a good balance.
Chinese coast guard personnel on duty, 2 May 2020. (Xinhua)

Indonesian academic: China’s new coast guard law escalatory and without legal basis

A new Chinese law, which gives its coast guard legal cover to fire on foreign vessels in contested waters, is worrying. Indonesian academic Aristyo Rizka Darmawan feels that countries seeking peace and stability in the South China Sea should do something about it.