FRIEND OR FOE?: INDONESIA'S SHIFTING POLICY IN RESPONSE TO CHINA'S ASSERTIVENESS IN THE SOUTH CHINA SEA
Nugroho, Febriyanto Adi
Chatterjee, Anshu N.
Malley, Michael S.
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Indonesia’s foreign policy stance toward China is a significant issue as it is a major player and a core member of ASEAN. Southeast Asia is increasingly a competitive and important region of the world where China is asserting its great power status. Since 2009, China-related South China Sea controversies have intensified. After submitting its South China Sea claim to the United Nations in opposition to Malaysia and Vietnam’s claim in 2009, China has increasingly defended its claim through increasing exercises and other forms of power assertion. The main purpose of this thesis is to show how and why Indonesia’s China policy shifted after 2009 in reaction to China’s action. The thesis explains each presidential administration’s China policy between 1999 and 2019 by using Kuik’s framework to identify the presence of two counteracting policies: risk-contingency and returns-maximizing options. Both of these policy options were executed by each Indonesian presidential administration toward China. After 2009, Indonesia’s degree of power rejection toward China increased in comparison to power acceptance. It showed a growing tendency to balance against China by intensifying its risk-contingency policy. Thus, Indonesia’s China policy shifted in the direction of balancing post-2009.
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