Jakarta / Mon, October 26, 2020 / 06:24 pm
Amid the increasingly aggressive rivalry between the United States and China, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s planned visit to Jakarta next week may further consolidate efforts to antagonize Beijing and test Indonesia’s free and active foreign policy. The last country in Pompeo, which starts in India this weekend before heading to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, will be Indonesia. Indonesia. Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi expressed hopes that the visit would improve ties between Indonesia and the United States.
“The United States is one of the leading partners of Indonesia. We hope that a good and constructive relationship with the US will be continually built, “she said this week. In Thursday’s press conference, Pompeo said he wanted to find the best ways of cooperating in all meetings to “preserve a free and open Indo-Pacific zone.” He also talked about “how free nations should work together to avoid threats raised by the Chinese Communist Party.” The Indo-Pacific order has been promoted vigorously by Washington, a new vision in the Asia-Pacific region aimed at separating its focus from China’s rising presence in the region. In recent years, the US has recruited partners in superpower rivalry in the South East Asian and South Asian nations. When US Assistant Secretary of State David Stilwell addressed the visit planned, Indonesia was critical because it was a “pillar of an open , free Indo-Pacific.”
As David Stilwell, Assistant Secretary of State in East Asia and the Pacific, talked about the planned visit, Indonesia is important because it is a “foundation of the free and open Indo-Pacific.” The United States, Indonesia, and the United States are a good supporter of the autonomy of Indonesia, “he said in a statement. After the visit to Washington last week by Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto to meet US Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Pompeo ‘s planned visit to Jakarta will take place. Prabowo and Esper have agreed to improve further cooperation between the two countries on defense and maritime security. The US Department of Defense announced in a statement released on Oct. 16 that the two Ministers discussed international stability, bilateral goals for defense and defense acquisitions.
Teuku Rezasyah, an international relations specialist at Pajayaran University in Bandung, said that a kind of unfinished business had to be carried out last week from Prabowo’s Pentagon visit to warrant Pompeo ‘s visit. He claimed that the United States could pursue follow up on Prabowo ‘s visit to Washington and Yoshihide Suga, the Japanese Prime Minister, visit Indonesia, inter alia in relation to the rejection, by the government, of the proposal that US spy aircraft operate in Indonesia, and the rejection of China’s plan to turn certain Indonesian regions into bases for military logistics.
Reuters recently reported that Indonesia has refused to allow its P-8 monitoring aircraft, that track Chinese militant activities on the South China Sea, to grant landing and refueling rights. Prabowo’s Chinese counterpart, Wei Fenghe, reportedly suggested that Indonesia construct an army base which was also rejected during his visit to Jakarta at the beginning of September. Indonesia has maintained its open and active foreign policy, Prabowo spokesman Dahnil Azhar Simanjuntak said. “In particular with regard to military installations we still uphold the concept of open and active foreign policy. In a video broadcast on Compas TV in September, Indonesia won’t participate or become engaged in confrontation with any nation across the globe, let alone a proxy. Rezasyah said that the rejection of Indonesia both led to its own dangers, namely the lack of chance of granting concessions from both sides.
“If Indonesia says yes to China, the current comprehensive strategic partnership arrangement, such as financial aid to infrastructure growth, would have added value. The same goes for the US, Definitely both countries are able to pay a very high price in the sense of global rivalry, “says Rezasyah. “The US can establish a situation in which it recognizes that Indonesia is independent, but can indirectly help the US by ensuring that its strategic straits are secure. There must therefore be a concession, perhaps to show that Indonesia is genuinely independent, that [the US] can allow or exert pressure on Indonesia to buy Sukhoi 35.
Stilwell said that the United States had been very up-to-date with regard to maritime knowledge and safety, as Indonesia had repelled Chinese fishing vessels in the North Natuna Sea Exclusive Economic Zones, bordering the South China Sea. “It’s safety,” he said, “when you ask what the US has to offer. Indonesia is not a claimant in the South China Sea conflict, as is the case with other countries in South-East Asia, which are disputed over the jurisdiction and exclusivity of the countries over the busy maritime trade routes.