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Jakarta Post

Asian, Melanesian: Reorienting Indonesia's foreign policy

  • Irman G. Lanti


Jakarta   /   Mon, October 7, 2019   /  11:10 am
Asian, Melanesian: Reorienting Indonesia's foreign policy President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo meets Papuan public figures at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta on Sept. 10. Jokowi has met with Papuan leaders and residents several times in Jakarta since tensions escalated in the restive provinces in August. (JP/Seto Wardhana)

Recent racial slurs against Papuan students in Surabaya and Malang and the Papuan reactions that have caused the destruction of public facilities in several cities in Papua have generated yet another dimension to identity politics in Indonesia. Are there any repercussions from those incidents for Indonesia’s foreign policy? Aside from calls made by several parties to work out an internationally mediated negotiation to address the Papua question, the incidents actually question the very nature of the identity of Indonesian nationhood, which in turn is reflected in its foreign policy. Since its inception, Indonesia has considered itself a Southeast Asian nation; more specifically, a country with citizens that identify as part of the Malay race. In fact, most Indonesians belong to the Malay Muslim world. But geographically, and even demographically, Indonesia is much more tha...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.