Indonesia

Presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto reacts while dancing as he claims victory after unofficial vote counts during an event to watch the results of the general election in Jakarta, Indonesia, on 14 February 2024. (Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters)

What Prabowo’s victory could mean for Indonesia-China relations

Based on current vote counts, Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto is set to clinch the Indonesian presidency after two previous losses against incumbent President Jokowi. Observers believe that Prabowo is riding on the popularity of Jokowi and could continue on the diplomatic path of non-alignment set out by the latter. Lianhe Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong takes a look at what Prabowo’s victory could mean for Indonesia-China relations.
The Jakarta-Bandung high-speed train in Bandung, West Java, on 17 January 2024. (Timur Matahari/AFP)

BRI's Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway: High costs but high returns

A few months after its inauguration, the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway, the first of its kind that China built overseas with its own integrated system of design, engineering, equipment, technology, and standards, is proving to be a harbinger of stronger and more extensive China-Indonesia economic cooperation.
In this photo taken on 11 September 2023, BYD electric cars waiting to be loaded on a ship are stacked at the international container terminal of Taicang Port at Suzhou Port, in China’s eastern Jiangsu province. China's top electric automaker BYD will build a car factory in Hungary, the company said on 22 December 2023, as it eyes expansion in the European market. (AFP)

[Big read] China's global EV expansion despite trade hurdles from the US and EU

As growth in the sales of new energy vehicles (NEVs) slows in China, a growing number of Chinese carmakers are speeding up their entry into foreign markets. While rising trade protectionism in Europe and North America is affecting their pace of expansion, Chinese carmakers are exploring new markets in South America and Southeast Asia, and localising their production to achieve breakthroughs. Lianhe Zaobao journalist Daryl Lim speaks with industry insiders to find out more.
Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto (left) speaks during a televised debate with his opponents Ganjar Pranowo (centre) and Anies Baswedan (right) at the Istora Senayan stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia, on 7 January 2024. (Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana/Reuters)

Will the 'China factor' become an election issue in Indonesia?

Indonesia’s economic relationship with China is occasionally marred by deadly accidents at Chinese-built and owned industrial sites in the archipelago. Nevertheless, economic cooperation with China is not going to slow down, no matter who wins the election next month.
The construction site of the China Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. (CATL) electric vehicle (EV) battery plant in Debrecen, Hungary, on 16 August 2023. (Akos Stiller/Bloomberg)

[Big read] Global fight for lithium battery raw materials heats up

Amid the global electric vehicle (EV) race, European countries and the US are doubling down on their efforts and investment towards building an even more localised vertically integrated battery supply chain. This comes amid China dominance over the global lithium-ion battery supply chain. As the race for raw materials continues, Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia and Singapore can play an increasingly significant role. Lianhe Zaobao business correspondent Lai Oi Lai speaks with experts and business insiders to find out more.
A Mixue Ice Cream & Tea outlet in Johor Bahru. (Photo: Claudia Liao)

Mixue, ChaGee, Luckin: F&B brands boosting China's soft power in Southeast Asia?

As China tries to sell its soft power, one channel it is tapping into is its food and beverage industry, with brands like Mixue and Luckin Coffee moving into overseas markets. Alongside its tech exports like smartphones, can China convince others of its products and improve its image?
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Sergei Lavrov pays respects to President Ho Chi Minh at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi on 6 July 2022. (Thông Tấn Xã Việt Nam (TTXVN)/Facebook)

Russia’s memory diplomacy is paying dividends in Southeast Asia

Russia is employing the selective use of history to further its goals in Southeast Asia. But amid the various reminders of Soviet or Russian involvement in Southeast Asia, there is the constant awareness that history can be written in a certain way by certain parties.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo speaking with the media on 8 May 2023 at Meruorah Convention Centre in Labuan Bajo, the fishing town on Flores Island in eastern Indonesia that is the venue of the two-day ASEAN Summit. (SPH Media)

Indonesia’s strategic considerations in joining BRICS

Given the intensity of the China-US rivalry and the upcoming presidential election in Indonesia, President Jokowi has seemingly changed his strategy temporarily so as not to be distracted by BRICS issues. However, Jokowi is still determined to make Indonesia a strong country, says ISEAS academic Leo Suryadinata.
Members of the Muslim community protest against a government plan to develop the Rempang Island into a Chinese-funded economic zone that would displace around 7,500 people, near the Presidential Palace in Bogor on 24 September 2023. (Aditya Aji/AFP)

Why has Batam’s Rempang Eco-City national project become a controversy?

Unhappiness among villagers in Rempang, close to Batam island, has led to riots in Batam City and threatens existing and future foreign investment. A small but diminishing window exists in which the local and central governments can improve their approach towards convincing residents of the need to relocate for a better future.