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Jakarta Post

Indonesia, Australia must proactively shape region, Australian opposition says

  • Dian Septiari
    Dian Septiari

    The Jakarta Post

PREMIUM
Jakarta   /   Wed, September 25, 2019   /  12:48 pm
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Australian Labor Party politician Penny Wong (left) and Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) executive director Philips J. Vermonte speak before a lecture hosted by the CSIS in Jakarta on Tuesday.(JP/Dian Septiari)

Indonesia and Australia, as middle powers in the region, need to proactively and collectively shape the region’s architecture based on their interests and values amid heightened rivalry between the United States and China, Australia’s senior opposition politician has said. Australian Labor Party politician and shadow foreign minister Penny Wong, who was in Jakarta to speak at a public lecture on Tuesday, said the two neighboring countries were faced with a choice, but the choice was pick neither the US’ nor China’s side. Instead, the choice for Indonesia and Australia, she said, was either to be “the spectators to the consequences of this strategic competition” or to work “proactively and collectively to shape rules, norms and standards in line with our interests and values. “Some have already relegated ASEAN to the sidelines. They...