Foreign Affairs/US-Indonesia Relations

Indonesia Reacts to US Middle East Peace Plan

Indonesia released a brief statement on 1/29 in reaction to the Palestinian/Middle East peace plan outlined earlier in the week by the US and Israel. Indonesia said it was concerned that the plan did not adhere to “internationally agreed parameters”. “The issue of Palestine shall be resolved based on the principles of the ‘two-state solution’ that respects international law and internationally-agreed parameters,” the ministry said in a statement to The Jakarta Post. “Indonesia once again encourages the resumption of dialogues among relevant parties to achieve stability and lasting peace,” the ministry stressed. (Jakarta Post)

Perceptions of China’s Dominance: Survey

Indonesians perceive China as the dominant power in Asia, but they also view this development in an increasingly negative light, according to the latest study by the Indonesian Survey Institute (LSI). The survey reveals that China, the United States and Japan are the countries with the most influence in Asia, according to Indonesians. The survey, which was published on Sunday, polled 1,540 registered voters across Indonesia from July 10 to 15 last year in the aftermath of the general election.
It showed that 39 percent of Indonesians believed that China was the most influential country in Asia, followed by the US and Japan with 18 and 14 percent, respectively. About 3 percent of respondents opted for other countries while the remaining 24 percent either said they did not know the answer, did not understand the question or declined to answer.

China’s dominance increased sharply from the same survey in 2016, when the US and China were both considered equally influential in Asia — each by 24 percent of Indonesian respondents. In the LSI’s 2011 survey, the US was the most dominant country in Asia with 29 percent of Indonesians opting for the US, while only 19 percent of respondents leaned toward China.

“What is new is that the US’ dominant influence has been replaced by China. A decade ago, it was the US that was seen as the most influential in Asia and in Indonesia. Now and 10 years from now, it is China,” the LSI said. However, China’s growing dominance also came with negative public sentiment, mostly related to political and economic factors, with China being perceived as an economic threat, according to the survey. (Jakarta Post)

US Journalist Released

After the intervention of US Ambassador Joseph R. Donovan, Indonesia released journalist, Phillip Jacobson, after jailing him for attending a legislative meeting in Central Kalimantan. His crime was being on a business rather than a journalist visa. Indonesia’s 2011 immigration law criminalizes such an offense. (Editor’s Note: Many journalists enter Indonesia on tourist visas, claiming requests for press credentials made through Indonesian embassies are never answered).