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

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 ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Chinese Foreign Minister to Lead UN Security Council Meeting on Gaza

Wang Yi, China’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, will chair a UN Security Council (UNSC) meeting in New York on the ongoing crisis in Gaza.
China, the current UNSC president, called the meeting scheduled for November 29. It comes as the two sides are looking into extending the temporary ceasefire that started last week to allow for the return of further Israeli hostages and Palestinian detainees.

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South China Sea Crisis and ASEAN’s Quiet Diplomacy

At the maritime symposium this week in Hainan, China’s foreign minister Wang Yi warned against a “bloc confrontation” approach to solving disputes, alluding to the Philippines, the United States, and Japan’s growing complaints about the brewing tension in the South China Sea. On October 22, two Chinese ...

Indonesia’s EV Ambition May Be Underestimating Some Challenges. Relying On China Won’t Be Enough

Indonesia is on a quest to build an end-to-end electric vehicle (EV) industry. The country is rich with nickel, an important raw material for nickel cobalt manganese (NCM)-based EV batteries. It’s a “confident middle-income” country, according to the World Bank, and it’s got a thriving automotive ...

China’s Belt & Road Checks May Get Smaller, But Indonesia Can Still Get Plenty

After complaints surrounding debt and environmental woes, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is finally changing. At the Belt and Road Forum this week, China announced that the BRI will now be “Small but Smart”, aiming to fund smaller-sized projects that are greener.  ...

Southeast Asia is Testing TikTok’s Limits

ByteDance’s TikTok is learning some very valuable lessons from the past few weeks: overconfidence is bad, and a new level of creativity might be in order if it wants to keep up with Southeast Asia’s policy quirks. Charm alone is not enough in this part of the ...

Lots of People Are Confused About Indonesia’s Decision to Ban E-Commerce on TikTok. Here’s Why They Did It.

The Indonesian government last week outlawed the use of TikTok to sell goods online goods, delivering a massive blow to the Chinese social media giant in its fastest-growing market in Southeast Asia. Since the ban went into effect last Wednesday, there's ...

China’s Wuling Electrifies Indonesia’s EV Market, but Can the Spark Last?

Chinese electric vehicle maker Wuling is reaping what it sowed almost eight years ago in Indonesia — the largest and most lucrative auto market in Southeast Asia. After injecting a billion U.S. dollar investment over that period, Wuling has now sold over 10,000 Air EVs and ...

ASEAN Knocks On The West’s Doors While Keeping China Close Amid Territorial Flare-Ups

This week’s summit in Jakarta saw ASEAN countries again knocking on the West’s door to ask for far more concrete support for their future growth. At the same time, the bloc seemed united in refraining from ruffling China’s feathers too much on the subject of the South ...

Q&A: ASEAN Is Showing Teeth To Myanmar

On the first day of the 43rd ASEAN Summit in Jakarta, the group leaders released a review on the implementation of the Five-Point Consensus (5PC), which was put out in 2021 to help resolve the crisis in Myanmar.  The document ...

ASEAN’s Hyper-Focus On Economic Growth Won’t Make Geopolitical Tensions Go Away

Indonesia’s ASEAN Chairmanship this year leans heavily towards spurring economic growth, believing that the focus on the more “neutral” subject would unite the group.  In these economic efforts, ASEAN has been consistent in its messaging about working with all partners, because ...

The New “BRICS6” May Complicate Indonesia’s Agenda in ASEAN

BRICS on Thursday officially invited six countries to join the group — Iran, Egypt, Ethiopia, Argentina, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. After all the speculations made in local media about Indonesia’s possibility to join, the country was missing from the invite list. And that is ...
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