Washington and Beijing — like Indonesian voters — are getting to know more about Indonesia’s prospective presidential candidates. How are each of them likely to move in terms of relations with the US and China, and what support are they likely to get in return?
A recent conflict between Indonesian workers and Chinese workers at a nickel smelter in Indonesia's North Morowali regency brings into focus several issues concerning Chinese investments in Indonesia, poor working environments, and bad treatment of local workers. Authorities must carefully manage the issue of migrant workers and balance national policy goals with local communities' interests.
ISEAS academic Leo Suryadinata looks at the Chinese ice cream brand Mixue and the difficulty it faces in getting a halal certificate in Indonesia. What does it say about the power struggle between different interest groups and Indonesia’s processes?
At the G20 Summit held in Bali under the Indonesian G20 presidency, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indonesian President Joko Widodo showed warmth when witnessing remotely the test run of the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Rail and undertaking bilateral talks. However, while economic relations are on a strong and steady track, sovereignty issues in the South China Sea continue to be a thorn in one’s side.
With all eyes on Indonesia as the G20 chair, the summit concluded successfully as Indonesian President Joko Widodo deftly balanced the demands of the G20 members amid the Russia-Ukraine war, along with a painstakingly crafted joint declaration that addresses the war. ISEAS academic Leo Suryadinata gives us a look at how Indonesia managed to handle the situation while making it clear that the economic summit is not a platform to discuss security.
Presidents Xi Jinping and Joko Widodo witnessed the test "ride" of the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Rail (HSR) via livestream during Chinese President Xi's visit to Indonesia for the G20 Summit in Bali. Economic cooperation remain high on the cards of bilateral relations, but while China’s trade and investment in Indonesia have grown substantially since the early 2000s, the Indonesian public does not share Jakarta’s desire to wholeheartedly embrace Beijing.
The Joko Widodo administration recently announced plans to establish the International State University of Confucianism in Bangka Belitung province. This plan has however been strongly opposed by the local Aliansi Ulama Islam (Islamic Ulama Alliance, or AUI). The success of the plan to establish the university is probably contingent on whether Joko Widodo remains in power. Should a conservative Muslim politician be elected as the next president, it is unlikely that this university will be built.
Among the candidates running for Indonesia’s next president, Ganjar Pranowo has emerged as a strong contender. ISEAS academic Leo Suryadinata gives a profile of Ganjar, and examines the factors that would make or break his campaign, including his previous political affiliations and current political efforts.
Prabowo has been in Indonesia’s political scene for decades and his chequered past has not deterred him from multiple runs for vice-president and president. Given his support from the conservative and radical Muslims, with a potential running mate that can boost his standing, will Prabowo finally make his mark as Indonesia’s president in the 2024 elections? ISEAS academic Leo Suryadinata gives a profile of this controversial figure.