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Is Indonesia Ditching the US for China???

Recently China and Indonesia signed two memorandums of understanding (MOUs), one on maritime cooperation and the other on a mechanism for high-level dialogue and cooperation.

Geopolitical analysts argue that China sees its relations with Indonesia from a strategic point of view. As a result, one will expect Beijing to push forward with bilateral relations in a comprehensive and high-level direction.


China’s rapprochement to Indonesia comes on the heels of US-Indonesia disappointing relationship of late (starting with the Obama administration) that casted doubt about tangible progress. This outcome convinced the Jokowi administration to rethink US-Indonesia ties. Jakarta has also expressed its disappointment over how the US makes bold plans for cooperation that never materialize.

Against this backdrop, China seized the opportunity while coordinating with Indonesia by bringing all ministries and departments from both sides together under a single platform; thus, accelerating the progress of cooperation in all areas. China also indicated that this mechanism marks a new level of China-Indonesia relations.


One thing is sure: Indonesia is a representative of an emerging economy and a big developing country; thus convincing China to assess its relations with Indonesia from a strategic point of view.


David Oualaalou is a Geopolitical Consultant, Award Winning Educator, Veteran, Author, and former International Security analyst in Washington, D.C.