Students in a Chinese language class in Indonesia.

Is Chinese language alive or dying in Indonesia?

In 1966, Indonesia banned the use of the Chinese language. The ban lasted 32 years, and led to up to two generations of Chinese Indonesians becoming completely assimilated. However, when the ban was lifted in 1998, there was an immediate rush to learn the Chinese language. But is that enthusiasm still there? Zaobao reporter Sim Tze Wei visits schools in Indonesia to find out more about the changes in Indonesia’s Chinese language education over the past 20 years.
 Indonesia's President Joko Widodo (C) during his visit to a military base in the Natuna islands, which border the South China Sea. (Handout/Presidential Palace/AFP)

Recent Chinese moves in the Natunas rile Indonesia

Indonesia has been caught in a tussle with China over rights to Natuna waters in the South China Sea. It appears that China recognises Indonesian sovereignty over the Natuna Islands and its 12 nautical miles of the territorial waters, but not the Indonesian EEZ which extends to 200 nautical miles. ISEAS academic Leo Suryadinata examines the claims and opines that if another encroachment takes place, an open clash could occur, and anti-China and anti-ethnic Chinese sentiments in Indonesia would again be whipped up.