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Jakarta Post

Making Hanoi the bully pulpit for regional cooperation

  • Meidyatama Suryodiningrat


JAKARTA   /   Mon, April 5 2010   /  12:05 pm

Just a month into his first term, a timorous Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono capitulated to peer pressure at his first ASEAN gathering in Vientiane by agreeing to an ill-defined East Asia Summit (EAS) diverging from Indonesia's preconceived policy outlook.Since then, Indonesia seems to have been playing catch-up to reconcile the various regional arrangements to the rapidly changing geopolitics of East and Southeast Asia. A house not of its own design, a construction with conflicting lines. Five years later, in his first ASEAN Summit following re-election, Yudhoyono can make amends for his gaffe when he arrives in Hanoi by clearly defining Indonesia's strategic views. The timing is particularly apt given the need to pensively delineate the competing views for the regions structural relationships. Competing proposals wooing middle countries, such as Indonesia abound as major powers - C...