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Jakarta Post

Indonesia must remain active, steadfast amid pressures

  • Irman G. Lanti


Bandung   /   Wed, October 28 2020   /  05:51 am
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addresses the media during a joint news conference with US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and India's Defense Minister Rajnath Singh after their meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, India, on Tuesday. (Reuters/Adnan Abidi)

In recent weeks, Indonesia has become a target of high-level diplomatic moves by the United States and its allies in their bid to promote the so-called Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) concept. Newly installed Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga visited Jakarta on Oct. 20-21 to hold talks with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on developments in the South China Sea and the FOIP, among other topics. While Indonesia remains neutral, Vietnam, the other Southeast Asian country on Suga’s first overseas trip as PM, has been embroiled in a territorial dispute with China and is the most outspoken supporter of increased American presence to balance China’s growing assertiveness in the region. After Suga is US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is carrying a similar message to the Indonesian leadership as he sets foot on Jakartan soil today. Indonesia is the only So...