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Australia seeks to strengthen partnership with Indonesia as Jakarta drifts to China




There will be an ongoing commitment and maintenance of this relationship.

Sources said a 2 + 2 meeting was also scheduled next month between Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Tehan and Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati and Commerce Minister Muhammad Lutfi, but it would be held virtually. An Indonesian trade spokesperson said he had no information on a visit.

Former Indonesian Trade Minister Tom Lembong warned last week that his country would continue its drift towards China under President Joko unless an imaginative and coordinated effort is made over several years by the countries of the Quadrilateral Dialogue. on security, the United States, Australia, Japan and India to prevent Indonesia from moving all-in against China.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, left, and Chinese President Xi Jinping, applaud during an agreement signing ceremony on the sidelines of the Forum

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, left, and Chinese President Xi Jinping applaud during an agreement signing ceremony on the sidelines of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing in 2017.Credit:PA

The world’s fourth most populous nation has traditionally had an independent foreign policy, maintaining neutrality, and it has been less than 18 months since its last major standoff with China over fishing rights near the Natuna Islands.

But there have been signs that Indonesia is increasing its dependence on China as strategic competition has intensified in the region.


He is a major supporter of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and Chinese investment in the country is expected to increase. Already, there are reports of ongoing negotiations to increase China’s stake in the flagship Jakarta-Bandung high-speed rail network.

China also pledged last week to help Indonesia build a regional vaccine production center following a meeting between their foreign ministers Wang Yi and Retno Marsudi.

You have made more visits to China than any other foreign minister since the onset of COVID-19, which fully demonstrates the high density of trade and interactions between China and Indonesia and the high level of mutual trust and cooperation between the two countries, Wang told Marsudi after their meeting in Guiyang.

Derek Grossman, defense and security analyst at US think tank RAND Corporation, wrote in Foreign police This month, China was motivated to lift engagement with Indonesia to have a friend in regional disputes, secure access to Indonesian resources, and perhaps leverage Indonesia as a strategic bulwark against it. Australia.

After meeting in Cornwall over the weekend, Biden and G7 leaders announced a global infrastructure challenger for China BRI called the Build Back Better World (B3W) initiative and pledged 1 billion vaccines to countries in the poorer.

Indonesia is experiencing its strongest peak in COVID-19 cases since February, with authorities saying hospitals are at 75% of capacity in Jakarta.

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