Follow CGSP on Social Media

Listen to the CGSP Podcast

U.S., China, Indonesia’s Nickel Gridlock: A Perspective From Below

Indonesia's Coordinating Ministry for Maritime and Investments Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan (R) speaks during the inauguration of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed train named 'Whoosh' at Halim station in Jakarta on October 2, 2023. Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP

“Without Indonesia’s nickel, [electric vehicles] have no future in America,” declared Indonesia’s coordinating minister of maritime and investment affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan in Foreign Policy last month. A bold statement from Indonesia’s top minister.

He blasted Washington’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) for “effectively barring entry of the critical supplies that U.S. manufacturers need” and warned that it could “lock the United States out of the EV market entirely.” He accused the IRA of being motivated by sentiments against Beijing. He also made a threat that Indonesia’s nickel would be exported somewhere, should it be forced to choose between China and the United States.

  • 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.