Indonesia General Elections 2019: An assessment of potential post-poll impact on foreign policy

Indonesia’s upcoming general elections will see a rematch between incumbent President Joko Widodo (commonly called ‘Jokowi’) and his long-time rival, retired lieutenant general Prabowo Subianto. This paper examines the potential impact of the elections on Indonesia’s foreign policy, especially on the country’s maritime relations with India and other major powers. In the 2014 elections, the Visi-Misi (or election manifesto) of the incumbent president made prominent mention of Indonesia’s maritime relations. The 2019 manifesto hardly talks about maritime issues, and instead focuses on Indonesia’s domestic goals. If Jokowi wins a second…

China took what is ‘ours’, Foreign Affairs chief says of West PH Sea

 MANILA — Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said Wednesday that the West Philippine Sea “is ours” and that China, from whom President Rodrigo Duterte sought investments and loans, “took it.”  Teodoro made the remark in reply to a Twitter follower who asked for his agency’s stand on the “clear evidence of China’s power” in the waterway.  “The stand is that it is ours. And they took it. World’s highest court ruled that. Period,” said the official.  “Now the question is how to take it back,” he added.  China refuses…

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang’s Regular Press Conference on April 12, 2019

  At the invitation of State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Japanese Prime Minister Taro Kono will pay an official visit to China from April 13 to 15. During his official visit, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will co-chair the fifth High-level Economic Dialogue between China and Japan with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono. Senior officials of economic departmentsof both countries will attend the event. The two sides will also attend the opening ceremony of the China-Japan Youth Exchange Promotion Year. Q: The Malaysian Prime Minister’s Office…

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang’s Regular Press Conference on April 11, 2019

Q: In its World Economic Outlook report issued on April 9, The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is downgrading its outlook for global economic to 3.3% this year down from 3.5% it had forecast in January, while upgrading China’s economic growth to 6.3% from 6.2% in its previous forecast. What’s your comment? A: We noted the relevant report. This is the second time for the IMF to downgrade its forecast for global economic growth since this year, which shows that the downward pressure on global economy is still increasing. Against such…

G7 Foreign Ministers Address Maritime Asia, North Korea in Communiqué

The G-7 continues to express concern about the East and South China Seas and the Korean Peninsula. Over the weekend, the foreign ministers of the Group of Seven (G-7) gathered in Saint Malo, France, for their annual meeting and released a wide-ranging communique addressing, among other issues, maritime security in the Asia-Pacific and North Korea’s disarmament. “We reiterate our commitment to promoting cooperative, international oceans and seas governance and to maintaining a rules-based maritime order based on international law,” the extended joint communiqué released by the ministers noted. “In this context,…

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang’s Regular Press Conference on April 4, 2019

Q: According to media reports, the spokesperson of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) in Taipei said on April 3 that the US government has stationed officials including active military personnel at the AIT since 2005. On the same day, a spokesperson of the US State Department said the US follows the one-China policy and that the security of the AIT is maintained by a small US unit and a larger group of local employees and authorities. What is your comment? A: We have noted relevant reports. The US has made…

Director-General of the Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs of the Foreign Ministry Yi Xianliang Attends the South China Sea Session of Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference 2019 and Delivers a Keynote Speech

From March 29 to 30, 2019, the South China Sea session of Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference 2019 was successfully held in Boao, Hainan Province. Themed “Maritime Security in the Asia-Pacific: Cooperation, Order and Rules”, the session brought together nearly 100 scholars, officials and industry representatives from more than ten countries and regions within and outside the South China Sea. Director-General of the Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs of the Foreign Ministry Yi Xianliang attended the session and delivered a keynote speech. Yi Xianliang said that the…

China’s Scare Tactics Prompt U.S. Fears of a Clash Over Taiwan – Foreign Policy

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii—U.S. military forces in the Pacific are alarmed by what they see as an increasingly capable China using military intimidation and economic coercion to bully its smaller neighbors. So far, these tactics fall short of actual armed conflict. But U.S. defense officials here and in Washington, most of whom spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive topic, say if the United States does not stay on alert in the region, Beijing could use force to advance its interests—and Taiwan in particular is a major…