Follow CGSP on Social Media

Listen to the CGSP Podcast

Explaining Indonesia’s Different Responses To Palestine, Xinjiang, and Myanmar’s Rohingya

Newly arrived Rohingya refugees return to a boat after the local community decided to temporarily allow them to land for water and food in Ulee Madon, Aceh province, Indonesia, on November 16, 2023. Amanda Jufrian / AFP

On November 16, 2023, an overcrowded wooden boat carrying around 250 Rohingyas attempted to land in the Indonesian province of Aceh. They were unwelcome, and locals turned the boat away. The Rohingyas are a predominantly Muslim ethnic minority group in Myanmar. Thousands are forced to risk their lives each year to escape brutal persecution and killings

The world watched in shock. Seeing the recent treatment by Indonesians has left some observers scratching their heads. Why is Indonesia, a Muslim-majority country and a staunch supporter of Palestine, refusing to accept the Rohingyas? It is just as confusing as Indonesia’s muted response to the Uyghurs in China, others would point out. 

  • Get a daily email packed with the latest China-Africa news and analysis.
  • Read exclusive insights on the key trends shaping China-Africa relations.
  • Full access to the News Feed that provides daily updates on Chinese engagement in Africa and throughout the Global South.

China, Africa and the Global South... find out what’s happening.

Subscribe today for unlimited access.

What is The China-Global South Project?


The China-Global South Project is passionately independent, non-partisan and does not advocate for any country, company or culture.


A carefully curated selection of the day’s most important China-Global South stories. Updated 24 hours a day by human editors. No bots, no algorithms.


Diverse, often unconventional insights from scholars, analysts, journalists and a variety of stakeholders in the China-Global South discourse.


A unique professional network of China-Africa scholars, analysts, journalists and other practioners from around the world.